In a recent interview with Tatame.com, former UFC light heavyweight and current Cage Rage champion Vitor Belfort talks about what he’d like to do next following his decision victory over James Zikic at Cage Rage 23 in September.
Belfort said his “big wish” is to fight UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson but also stated he has a proposal on the table to fight Robbie Lawler for the EliteXC middleweight title:
“EliteXC that´s buying all the events, made a proposal for me to go to a lower category to face Robbie Lawler and fight for the big belt. Me and Spike, we are taking a careful look at this proposal of lowering my weight, getting this belt from Robbie Lawler…”
The interview has led to several Internet rumors that Lawler vs. Belfort could be the main event of EliteXC’s next scheduled card in November. However, the promotion currently has no plans to book that match for its next card. In fact, Lawler is expected to defend his Icon Sport middleweight title in December against Ross “Kala Kolohe” Hose.
Any future matchup between Lawler vs. Belfort could prove difficult to make happen. First, Belfort has competed as a heavyweight and light heavyweight through his ten-year MMA career. It’s not a given that Belfort can make 185 lbs. at this stage of his career.
Complicating matters further is the fact that Belfort was suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission after testing positive for steroids following his unanimous decision loss against Dan Henderson at PRIDE 32 last October.
If Belfort could make the cut, a match against Lawler could take place in the UK or another portion of the world where MMA is not regulated. However, EliteXC could hurt its standing with NSAC by not honoring its suspension of Belfort. Even after Belfort’s suspension elapses, there’s no guarantee he’ll be reinstated because he did not honor his suspension when he elected to fight for Cage Rage.