Regardless of what happens from here on out in 2013, there’s no question that Vitor Belfort’s campaign has been one of the year’s top story lines. So much so, if you’re down with “Fighter of the Year” talk, then “The Phenom” has got to be in the equation (depending on your opinion of TRT of course).
Recently the 36 year-old star spoke with MMA Fighting.com about his immediate future, and not surprisingly, Belfort is feeling pretty confident about his championship prospects.
“I’ve earned my shot at the title and I will fight whoever wins this fight,” said Belfort, while discussing his hopes to face the winner of Weidman-Silva II. “I just want to get in there and hear them say ‘the new middleweight champion’. I have a goal. I will defeat the champion and get the title.”
After relaying that he doesn’t care who wins at UFC 168, Belfort also stated the following:
“I’ll be even better when I return to the Octagon. I know it’s hard to believe that I can get even better than this, but I will. I’ve been training hard, and there are a lot of things that I haven’t done yet. My best is yet to come.”
“My ground game is getting better and better since I started training with Gilbert Burns,” Belfort said. “And I don’t even need to talk about my wrestling since I’m working with the Michael Jordan of Wrestling, Kenny Monday. I’ve been working a lot in both areas.”
Of course, Belfort demonstrated repeatedly this year that he’s added fight stopping kicks to his arsenal, but we haven’t seen his ground game since he was tapped out by Jon Jones last September. If his wrestling has improved significantly like he says, then that’s a scary development for other middleweight contenders.
Whether Belfort fights Weidman or Silva next, either fight is going to be huge.