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Vitor Belfort expects to return to action in November but not against Silva

In what’s becoming more of a pattern than coincidence, for a fourth time the long-awaited match-up between UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva and Brazilian countryman Vitor Belfort appears to again be put on hold due to injury.

Belfort, who has been out of action since September 2009, was first announced as the top contender to Silva’s belt after finishing Rich Franklin with strikes in the opening round of their fight at UFC 103. However, the bout has yet to actually materialize due to injuries sidelining both parties at various times over the past year.

News of the most recent postponement came via Belfort’s Twitter account, where he not only alluded to the ribs Silva said he’d damaged after his remarkable win over Chael Sonnen, but also explained he still planned to step foot in the Octagon before the end of 2010.

“This year I am not going to fight for the title because the champion is hurt but (in) November we will be in action for sure, that is what I can say…”

While no opponent has officially been named for “The Phenom”, logical candidates include perennial contender Yushin Okami and the recently resurgent Chris “The Crippler” Leben. The UFC has two events currently scheduled for November – UFC 122 (11/13) in Germany and UFC 123 (11/20) which is rumored to be headlined by a light heavyweight clash between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Lyoto Machida.

Belfort is 19-8 as a professional and currently on a five-fight winning streak. In addition to Franklin, the 33-year old also holds notable victories in the UFC over Randy Couture and Wanderlei Silva.

34 COMMENTS
  • JBAR says:

    Bummer, this will add fuel to the Sonnen rematch fire for sure.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  • Dufresne says:

    Hopefully he can get a win and avoid injury at the same time. I really want to see him fight Silva eventually…

    Well-Done. Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  • MCM says:

    wait, you mean the UFC is actually gonna make Belfort fight at 185lb BEFORE he gets a title shot….well that’s just weird.

    Sarcasm aside, I wouldn’t mind seeing him fight Leben. Leben’s chin is legendary, so if Vitor can put him away it will make a huge statement in the MW division (kinda like AS did). In the grappling dept, I give the edge to Leben. Hope the UFC can make this fight happen.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3

  • Rece Rock says:

    Good call MCM… I too have a renewed interest in Leben after his last 2 fights he has to be given a another BIG fight and that would be a great match up in my opinion. Never know Leben may pull it off, lately he’s a man on a mission.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  • Maulwalker says:

    I think the logical opponent for Vitor Belfort is none other than Chael Sonnen. November would be a logical timeframe for him to get a fight, anyway.

    Dana White has been hinting at the UFC returning to Brazil in the near future, and that likely means next year. So with a Belfort/Sonnen number one contendor’s match in November, the UFC would be perfectly set up for an Anderson Silva-headlined Brazilian fightcard in the spring/summer of 2011.

    Belfort/Silva would pit two well-known Brazilians against eachother and be big.
    Sonnon/Silva would pit the hated American versus the much-loved Brazilian champ and be HUGE.

    You think Sonnen got people riled up talking trash about Silva here in America? Wait until he gets in front of the Brazilian media for 4 months building up the fight. They’ll need a SWAT team to escort him to the arena!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Guthookd says:

    Belfort vs. Sonnen for a(nother) shot at the belt.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 14 Thumb down 4

  • boomnutz says:

    i can’t believe they didn’t mention Chael Sonnen, out of ALL opponents he makes the most sense…it’s a win-win, fresh blood or a rematch for one of those few fights that deserves a rematch

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  • Dufresne says:

    I like the call for either Leben or Sonnen. Leben has a chin of iron and lately he’s shown a much improved ground game, and Sonnen just shocked the hell out of me by handling Silva for 4.5 rounds. Either one should provide a good matchup and any fight with Leben is guaranteed to be exciting.

    (Yes I’m partial to Leben, he’s my boy!)

    Well-Done. Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  • JBAR says:

    The problem with Belfort vs Sonnen is that you go from 2 potential money making fights for Silva to 1. Silva vs Belfort will draw because we all want to see that fight, Silva vs Sonnen 2 will draw big because of the first fight. Look for the UFC to keep both guys winning until they get a shot at Silva.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  • JBAR says:

    By keeping them winning I mean giving them opponents they should beat not fixing fights. Leben would be my choice.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  • Creature says:

    “There gonna make him fight at 185 BEFORE he gets a title shot?” lmfao funny shit but i also completely agree with what ur saying MCM

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  • boomnutz says:

    yea but at the same time the UFC has to be legit and have contenders fight contenders, you don’t want this to turn into boxing were guys get coddled and end up with gawdy records because they fight bums all day…no offense to anybody but imo i don’t see anyone else for either of them to fight, i would say Shields, Marquardt or Okami, but Shields and Nate are alreayd fighting, and Okami just got handled by Sonnen not to long ago, but also if Vitor fights Okami then there’s no one left for Sonnen

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • GIKE MOLDBERG says:

    I think Vitor should fight Demian or the winner of Marquardt/Palhares-Too bad Belcher is on the shelf-That would be a great number one contender’s match

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  • GIKE MOLDBERG says:

    I personally think that Palhares is the most dangerous 185er on the planet-Vitor would have his hands full with that tree stump of a man

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  • Him and sonnen would most likely be alot like chael and the spider except it’d be only 3 rounds and vitor would get held down the whole time with no miracle triangle. Not a good way to start throwin your hopeful next champ to the wolves.

    Him and Leben would be awesome, I could see toe to toe till either one fell down, and lastly Vitor’s “win” over Randy isn’t notable it was the biggest dissapointment in any championship fight ever…that’s worth noting about it

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  • MMApride19 says:

    Iv read a few comments on here saying they would like to see Leben vs Vitor. Whilst i would also like to see this … i personally would prefer to see Leben fight Wandy (as he requested!) And Vitor to fight someone like Marquadt (should he beat palhares, if he doesnt, then forget i mentioned it). Nate vs Vitor would be a great title contender fight… winner gets the shot! And in the process… Leben vs Wandy would be a great contender fight… if Leben beats Wandy… IMO he will be very close to a title shot, and visa versa. Also, both make for extremely entertaining fights. ANd they are fights that make sense IMO.

    Thoughts?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  • GIKE MOLDBERG says:

    What??-Sounds like a bunch of half ass comments to me-Vitor versus Leben would be a knockout of the night reel-Vitor versus Sonnen would be an epic case of how to break a phenomenal athlete

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  • Swing Em says:

    My take on the UFC Middleweight Division

    I honestly think that Dana & Joe want to have Silva v Sonnen II before they give anyone else a shot. That fight was way too dramatic to not warrant a rematch by next spring. I think in the mean time Belfort v Leben is an awesome fight and makes a lot of sense. I’d like to see Wanderlei get in there with Patrick Cote when he comes back from the knee surgery. I think the winner of Marquardt v Palheras should fight Okami with the loser getting Munoz or Belcher (if he’s able to keep fighting).

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  • Gina Corona says:

    Knowing Joe Silva, it’s gonna be againt Leben, ideal target for Belfort’s speed and technique.
    Although if Leben 2.0 mixes it up with take-downs he could totally take the win.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • stone says:

    I think Swing’em gots the lay out… Truth is Sonnen is the real contender! Chael would run through Vitor! Since V-B KO’d Lindland pretty bad, I’m sure Chael wouldn’t mind whoopin his ass while Anderson gets his health back! We already know what will happen with Nate n Okami! Chael n Leben are buddies from Team Quest days n I think Leben wouldn’t take that fight! Belcher vs Leben would be sick.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  • GIKE MOLDBERG says:

    I guess Leben versus Vitor takes the cake-I still feel that it is a mismatch-Vitor wins all day everyday

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • Guthookd says:

    “i personally would prefer to see Leben fight Wandy (as he requested!)”
    -MMApride19 says

    Yes. You nailed it for me right there. Leben vs. W. Silva would be an epic battle. That fight along with Vitor vs. anybody starts a great card IMO (I just want to see Vitor fight again because it feels like it’s been a lonnnnnngg time).

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  • JabCrossHook says:

    Vitor didn’t really have all that trouble getting up when Tito Ortiz was on top, and Dan Henderson, and you’re telling me Sonnen will hold him down? Ya ok, Sonnen would probably get TKO’d.

    Silva had two broken ribs coming into the fight, if they fight again Chael would get finished in the first round.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

  • GIKE MOLDBERG says:

    You might be right you might be wrong-There is no way Anderson Silva(healthy or not) could withstand the shellacking that Chael(man possessed)Sonnen dished out in Oaktown

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  • soundspawn says:

    Is Belfort’s inadvertant glove-stitching cut to Couture’s eyeball in the first 40 seconds really “noteworthy”? I would instead look to the two beat downs he took at Couture’s hands if I were taking performance notes.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  • manny says:

    That’s bc they are giving Sonnen another shot to lose to Silva. BS if you ask me. HE WAS SUMITTED

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  • GIKE MOLDBERG says:

    Yeah- but what a loss it was

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  • JabCrossHook says:

    soundspawn your logic flawed because Vitor lost to Randy Couture. Was he ever knocked out or looked hurt in those beatings? Rewatch the fights, also didn’t you forget his sister was kidnapped? And that was right at the time when he fought Couture and “won” with a TKO cut stoppage and then 7 months later he lost on doctor stoppage (due to cuts). Give the dude a break he’s dealt with a lot in his personal life, but if Tito and Hendo couldn’t hold him down for that long I doubt Sonnen could. Also you people act like Chael’s GnP is so powerful. It’s not. Why? Look at fights when someone gets KO’d by GnP. Their whole head ricochets off the floor, you literally see the vibration from the impact. That barely happened when Sonnen was GnPing Silva. A healthy Anderson Silva could probably run through Chael Sonnen. That’s why I want the rematch between them.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    It will be Sonnen Belfort. Sonnen said as much himself.
    Jab cross Tito controlled Belfort the whole time as did Hendo and Ortiz took him down at will.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Tito held him down for 3 rds!!!!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  • JabCrossHook says:

    Rewatch the fight because you have no idea what you’re talking about. Tito won on a split decision and Vitor almost knocked him out in the 2nd rd. For someone who’s nick is MMA Logic, you have none.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • “You might be right you might be wrong-There is no way Anderson Silva(healthy or not) could withstand the shellacking that Chael(man possessed)Sonnen dished out in Oaktown”

    Seems to me like submitting him proves the exact opposite of this statement. He withstood it and won. bottom line, Chael put on an outstanding performance, but he lost.

    @Jab cross hook
    Sonnen is ten times the wrestler Tito ever thought he was. Tito wrestled for a year in JC. Sonnen packs two national titles, olympic alternate status….Tito…wrestled in JC for a year. Sonnen also bulled Silva whereas Hendo got nothin done for a round of holding him down and then got whooped the second.

    I do believe Chael deserves another shot before anyone though, no one has done that to silva ever and it was solid, I may have bitched alot about there being times i thought it should’ve been stood up but Chael did do a great job (minus losing). I think Chael would break Vitor. and btw I’ll rewatch it today and apologize if this next statement is false but Vitor didnt lose to a cut, he lost due to not being able to answer the bell due to fatigue and his bell being rung. He looked hurt in both his losses to Randy and while I do believe he wouldnt have fought up to par with his missing sister on his mind that night, the cut on Randy’s eyelid was still a ridiculous fluke.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  • soundspawn says:

    He was crushed in their first meeting. The ref stopped it via TKO… Couture ate his soul in that fight, absolutely took away his will to fight. Second fight his sister was missing (later revealed she had been kidnapped iirc, hard to say how much he knew at the time) and it was a very lackluster main event (35 seconds of feeling out, one hook, a clinch, over).

    Had Vitor lost in the second meeting I would probably dismiss it due to his personal issues at the time, but he won so I don’t understand how his sister being missing changes anything. Perrhaps you mean to suggest he sliced Couture with the seam of his glove intentionally in an attempt to end the fight really quick so he can run out and find his sis? Regardless, if we’re taking notes, the first encounter holds more swing than the second (first was clean, definative, and dominant), and the third was a closer fight but Couture still worked him. I’m not pushing to take away his win, I’m just saying it’s not as if he landed more than a few grazing punches. If it’s over in under a minute and there’s no serious bleeding, tko, ko, or sub… it’s probably not worth putting too much weight on.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • stone says:

    Randy owned Vitor! Vitor admitted that and now trains at Xtreme Cotoure! The 2nd time they fought was the biggest fluke EVER in UFC history! I’ve been watching faithfully since UFC 40 and I will repeat. THE BIGGEST FLUKE EVER!!!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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