Phenom-enal: Machida declines to fight Jon Jones, Vitor Belfort steps inPosted on August 24, 2012, 03:25 AM by Anton Gurevich
UFC President Dana White confirmed the news with MMAfighting.com, also announcing that Vitor Belfort will step in as a replacement. According to the report, Machida turned down the title shot because he wants more time to prepare for his second encounter with Jon Jones.
Multi-time UFC champion Vitor Belfort was originally scheduled to face Alan Belcher at UFC 153 in a Middleweight contest, with sights on continuing his quest for another shot at Anderson Silva's title. Immediate title shot at 205 proved to be more appealing for Belfort, who will have one month to prepare for one of the top Pound-for-Pound fighters on the planet.
Interestingly enough, Dana White revealed that no other than Anderson "The Spider" Silva offered contact him in attempt to save the now-scrapped UFC 151 card in Las Vegas, Nevada. Silva admitted his not in the best shape to face someone of Jon Jones' caliber, but would still fight the reigning UFC Light Heavyweight champion on eight days' notice. However, Dana White explained Silva there's no way to resurrect UFC 151.
The closest Vitor Belfort got to Light Heavyweight in his second coming to the UFC was against Rich Franklin at UFC 103. Belfort TKO'd Franklin in what was a 195lbs Catchweight bout.
Stay tuned to LowKick.com for more UFC 152 news and card changes.