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Vitor Belfort refuses to fight at middleweight without title on the line

Vitor Belfort refuses to fight at middleweight without title on the line

UFC middleweight Vitor Belfort appears to have ended any discussion about a likely tilt with Tim Kennedy by refusing to compete at 185 pounds unless the championship is up for grabs. Rumors about the match-up materializing surfaced late last week with UFC President Dana White confirming the company’s interest in putting it together.

According to a report from Globo citing Belfort’s wife/manager, who said her hard-hitting husband was open to fighting at light heavyweight or even heavyweight but would not risk his status as the middleweight division’s top contender.

“It doesn’t make sense that Vitor, who is No. 1 in the rankings, should fight against No. 2, No. 6 or No. 10 in his weight class. His next fight in the middleweight class will be against the winner of Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva,” said Joana Prado. “If the UFC wishes him to fight in any class above middleweight, we are at their disposal.”

Belfort is 23-10 including four straight wins as a 185er with a loss to light heavyweight champ Jon Jones sandwiched in the mix. He is coming off consecutive knockouts of Luke Rockhold and Michael Bisping.

Weidman-Silva is scheduled for December 28 at UFC 168. Meanwhile, Belfort is seeking a scrap at the UFC’s yet-to-be-announced October stop in brazil.