Another day, another potential fight for surging UFC Middleweight Vitor Belfort, who’s been giving Dana White fits by standing firm to his statement of only fighting at Middleweight for a title. But he’s willing to take high-profile bouts at Light Heavyweight elsewhere, and that lead to speculation that “The Phenom” would face Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida on a yet-to-be-named card on Brazil.
On last night’s “UFC Tonight,” however, a different plan appeared to be taking shape. Belfort is reported to be close to signing on to fight former Pride FC and Strikeforce champion Dan Henderson. “Hendo” recently appeared on “Inside MMA” to say he was simply looking for a fight and a rematch with Belfort would fit the bill.
That’s apparently the kind of fight that Belfort is looking for, after potential bouts with Tim Kennedy, Gegard Mousasi, Chael Sonnen, and Machida failed to materialize. The fight is rumored to go down at Goiania Arena in Goiania, Brazil, on Nov. 9, 2013, as the main event of UFC Fight Night 32.
It’s beginning to look like Belfort has been calling a ton of fighters out but not actually accepting too many of the bouts thrown his way. He lost a previous bout with Henderson under the Pride banner back in 2006, after which he had his well-documented failure for anabolic steroids.
That failure and subsequent suspension is most likely a big reason why many believe that Belfort has become almost unlicensable within the confines of Las Vegas. He’s been on TRT and there’s been a ton of publicity surrounding his use due to his past troubles. NSAC commissioner Keith Kizer has stated that it would be unlikely that Belfort would be granted a TUE for TRT in Nevada, but that appears like it won’t matter at this time.
Henderson vs. Belfort II could be a great rematch between two legends of the sport. But by booking it in Brazil for Belfort again, is the UFC simply acquiescing to Belfort’s demands to take only the fights he wants in his home country? Or has he earned the right to make such demands with his electrifying performances?