UFC middleweight Vitor Belfort is by all accounts the #1 contender at 185 pounds. However, with a rematch on the horizon between champion Chris Weidman and former divisional king Anderson Silva, Belfort is in a position where he’ll have sit out for an extended period of time unless willing to risk his reputation by accepting a fight.
Belfort recently made his position on the matter very clear, stating he would be happy to head into the Octagon before year’s end but not as a middleweight. And, according to a report on this week’s episode of UFC Tonight, he has an opponent in mind already – Chael Sonnen.
Though Sonnen is already lined up to meet Mauricio Rua in mid-August at light heavyweight, the 36-year old has expressed his intent to move back down to 185 after the bout. Fortunately for Belfort, Sonnen is more than happy to lock horns with “The Phenom” once he’s settled his score with “Shogun”, albeit on one condition.
“Vitor, I accept. However, he has a title of #1 contender. If he’s willing to put that on the line, not only will I fight him but I’ll do it on December 28,” said Sonnen in response to Belfort’s challenge, pointing to UFC 168 as a potential landing spot for the scrap. “Weidman defends his title, Ronda Rousey defends her title, and Vitor, you have a title and I want you to defend it against me.”
Of course, at this point talk of a tilt between Sonnen-Belfort is little more than that given Sonnen’s current dance card. Likewise, no division was mentioned for the match-up though it would appear to be a catch-weight affair if it does indeed develop into more than a verbal agreement.
Sonnen is 27-13-1 in his career with notable victories over Yushin Okami, Brian Stann, and Michael Bisping. Comparably, Belfort holds an overall mark of 23-10 including sixteen knockouts.