Earlier this week, hard-hitting Brazilian middleweight Vitor Belfort spoke out via his Twitter page to announce he would be returning to the Octagon in November. He also stated his yet-to-be-named adversary would not be current 185-pound champion Anderson Silva.
It now appears fans can also scratch Chael Sonnen off the list of potential opponents too.
Belfort recently spoke with Sherdog and shed some light on a recent discussion he had with Zuffa executive Lorenzo Fertitta.
“I just asked him to not be (on the November card in Germany). I’m tired of traveling. I would like to return to fighting here in America. According to my conversation with Lorenzo, my opponent will not be Sonnen but another guy that will be decided soon.”
UFC 122 is scheduled for November 13th in Germany meaning it’s likely “The Phenom” will instead compete at UFC 123 the following weekend on a card currently headlined by a clash between top light heavyweight title-holders Lyoto Machida and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Belfort’s words also lend credit to a statement made by UFC President Dana White on ESPN’s Sportscenter where he implied Sonnen’s next bout would likely be a rematch with Silva, a man he dominated for four-and-a-half rounds before succumbing to a submission in the last few minutes of their match-up.
So who will “The Phenom” fight in November? Though nothing official has been announced, likely candidates include Chris Leben and Yushin Okami. Leben has won three in a row, while Okami has emerged victorious in five on his last six Octagon appearances.