When hard-hitting Brazilian middleweight Vitor Belfort recently made statements regarding an upcoming fight in November against someone other than current 185-pound champ Anderson Silva the speculation on who he might be facing immediately began. Belfort helped clear the matter up a bit last week by eliminating Chael Sonnen from the list of possibilities, leaving slugger Chris Leben and perennial contender Yushin Okami as the two leading candidates.
It now appears fans have an official answer.
Word of Belfort taking on Okami first began surfacing at the UFC 118 “Fan Expo” with “The Phenom” himself mentioning the bout to fans and has since been confirmed by MMAWeekly. According to the report, the fight will take place on November 13th in Germany at UFC 122. The event is actually one Belfort requested to be passed over for, as he recently stated he specifically asked Zuffa executive Lorenzo Fertitta to not be booked overseas for his next in-ring appearance.
The fight between Okami and Belfort will almost certainly earn the winner a crack at the UFC’s middleweight championship, as both have been mentioned as top contenders in the past and Belfort would have already fought Silva for the belt had injuries/timing not prevented the bout from occurring a number of times over the past year.
Belfort is 19-8 as a professional with thirteen knockouts to his credit. He most recently defeated Rich Franklin via TKO in the first round last September at UFC 103 and holds notable wins over Wanderlei Silva, Matt Lindland, and Gilbert Yvel.
His opponent, Okami, holds a 25-5 record and is known for his well-rounded, technical approach to opponents. He has emerged victorious in five of his last six fights and is 9-2 in the Octagon.