Current middleweight—and recent light heavyweight—contender Vitor Belfort wants to fight for a UFC title. Which division, you ask? Well, he’s content wherever.
MMA Junkie reports that Belfort, who was on hand at the pre-UFC 156 media scrum, has reiterated his wishes to once again contest Jon Jones for his 205-pound title.
Back in Sept. 2012, Belfort emerged as an unlikely contender for Jones’ strap and almost finished the champion in the first round with an arm-bar. After nearly pulling off what would have been one of the sport’s largest upsets, Belfort faded and ultimately succumbed to a fourth-round keylock submission.
“The Phenom” is confident events would play out differently the second time around, though, and he isn’t shy about letting people know how he sees the action panning out. “I want Jon Jones,” Belfort said, “I want his left arm.”
If it turns out to be a no-go on the Jones front, Belfort is fine with remaining at middleweight. But he wants a title shot there, and believes his win over Michael Bisping at UFC on FX 7 should clinch one for him.
“I deserve the [Jones] rematch, so that’s the fight I’m looking for. If not him, I’m looking to get to be a contender of my division,” explained the Brazilian power-puncher. “Nobody made a statement with that, and I think the way I beat Bisping takes me very close to the contender shot.”
Belfort went on, positing the logical argument that “If I’m in the 185 division, I beat the second [ranked] guy, I earned that place.”
What then naturally follows, in theory, is that the second ranked guy fights the champ, but as Belfort concedes, that’s not always how it goes in reality. “That’s how I think, but that’s not how it is,” he noted.
It is widely assumed that Belfort’s desires will not be sated until he wins at least one more fight. His next opponent is still to be determined, but the name Luke Rockhold has been floated several times. It’s not the matchup he wants, but it’s one Belfort will take if it leads to a title shot.
“I’ll accept any fight, but I need to know where this fight is going to take me,” said Belfort.
Whatever is next for “The Phenom” will impact the UFC’s middleweight division in a big way. And maybe its light heavyweight division too.
What do you think? Should Belfort get another crack at Jones? Or Silva? Or does he yet have some work to do before getting one or the other?