UFC president Dana White was asked during his recent appearance on UFC Tonight why Vitor Belfort was given the chance to face UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.

Vitor is fired up for this opportunity. No. 1, he’s the only Brazilian to step up and take this fight. No. 2, that Anderson Silva fight drives him crazy, so he dove right in.

The UFC offered Jones to both Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Lyoto Machida, but each fighter turned them down, citing a need for a longer training camp. Belfort, who was knocked out by Silva in his last title fight, jumped at the chance to compete for the belt.

He knows that when an opportunity comes, you take it and do what you have to do to get ready. You take it because you don’t know when it’s going to come again. He called asking for this fight.

Belfort is 21-9, including a 3-1 mark since returning to the UFC in 2009. He has defeated Rich Franklin, Yoshihiro Akiyama and Anthony Johnson – all via stoppages – in that time. He will face Jones at UFC 152 later this month.