Vitor Belfort has three words for Jon Jones: I am readyPosted on September 5, 2012, 01:44 PM by Mike Searson
Vitor Belfort will challenge Jon Jones for the Light Heavyweight championship in the UFC 152 main event on September 22 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Beltor was supposed to face Alan Belcher at Middleweight at UFC 153 in Brazil, this October, but when a fighter has a chance of reclaiming a former title he has to take it.
This chance came up due to the cancellation of UFC 151 in Las Vegas when Dan Henderson withdrew due to injury and reigning champion Jon Jones declined a replacement in the form of Chael Sonnen. Belfort faces an undefeated champion on a 7-fight win streak.
Although he is an underdog in this bout, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt is no slouch in the octagon. Despite being 10 years senior to Jones, Belfort can boast seven wins in his last eight fights, with his sole loss to UFC Middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
In an interview with Sherdog.com, Belfort addressed his decision to accept the fight with Jones.
Although he was looking forward to fighting in his native Brazil, Belfort knew he had to answer the call to take on Jones in Canada instead: "If you only knew how amazing it is to fight in Brazil. The energy from the audience puts you up there. In addition, I certainly would have had all my family and friends present in Rio, and they give me a lot of strength. However, I had to accept the fight with Jon Jones in Canada because the challenge is great and it gives me another shot at a belt. When the UFC came to me, I did not hesitate. I accepted immediately. I really want this fight."
Belfort expects a tough fight and said: "In the UFC, there are no easy fights. There may be a quick fight, but it’s never easy. You have to prepare very well because you’ll regret it if you don’t. This is already a struggle. Certainly, he’s a great opponent. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be the champion. Fighting at a high level motivates me a lot, as I’ve always tried to do it in my career. I expect a tough fight, but I’ll be in my best shape. You can mark it down."
Unlike Jon Jones who studies his opponents and analyzes them to the point where he admittedly "becomes obsessed with them", Belfort maintains that a new opponent does not pose a significant change to his gameplan: "Of course, I’ll analyze his fights, but beyond that, it does not change much. I was already training hard, and I was in good shape even before that. I changed my training camp to the Jaco Hybrid Training Center, and I’m now training with the Blackzilians. The team has fighters of the highest caliber, like Rashad Evans and Alistair Overeem. It is a very serious team, with a working philosophy that has pleased me very much. A professional fighter cannot reach his maximum potential by training only what he knows. He must be with a team that will help him think, create alternatives and improve his technique. I made a good choice when I entered this camp."
That said, he is looking toward this bout as if it will be the best fight of his career. A mindset that Belfort develops for all his fights: "If you want to be successful in the UFC, you have to believe in one thing: your next fight will be your best fight. Hopefully, it will be a tremendous fight -- worthy of the title -- that people, especially Brazilians, will remember with great fondness and pride."
Belfort says he really wants to take the title from Jones and feels as if he is going for the greatest moment in his career: to be the best in the world at what he does. When asked if he had anything to say to Jones he uttered three words: "I am ready."