Vitor Belfort is riding an impressive two-fight win streak at present after knocking out Michael Bisping in January, Vitor went on to destroy Luke Rockhold in similar fashion this May. The beef between Belfort and Sonnen aside, it looks like a future match against Dan Henderson is on the cards.
The two met at Pride 32 in 2006, with Hendo emerging the winner by decision. Belfort has stated that his second choice for his next fight, behind Sonnen, would be Henderson. A fight that Hendo’s Jiu-Jitsu coach, Ricardo Feliciano, says would not be a good move for Belfort:
“Hendo is already 205lbs,” Feliciano told Fighters Only “ This is his normal weight. If this bout happens in November, it will be excellent if included in GSP’s card [Georges Saint Pierre vs Johny Hendricks for welterweight championship] in Las Vegas. I will pump him up. Vitor will regret to have asked for this rematch!”
This certainly is an interesting fight between two hard-hitting KO kings, but what relevance does it hold? Belfort just turned down a fight with Tim Kennedy, who is in the win column, in favour of a match with either Sonnen (who could be on a three fight skid by then) or Henderson who is riding a two-fight skid.
Sonnen and Hendo are certainly bigger names, but Kennedy would have certainly been a better win for Belfort considering that he has won a fight in the past year. In honesty, who knows how the rankings work these days?
Marketability is the obvious answer, especially when you consider the fights that Sonnen is still being linked to. Even if he loses against Shogun, Sonnen may get the number one contender at middleweight.
Although a fight against Henderson at a catchweight or 205 wouldn’t affect Vitor’s standing at middleweight. where he currently holds the number one contender spot. Assuming that Belfort vs. Hendo II does go down, who is your pick?