Vitor Belfort is in a pretty sweet spot in the UFC Middleweight division, fresh off a first round knockout of the last Strikeforce champion and potentially eying another shot at Anderson Silva’s title. It’s no wonder that Gegard Mousasi has been calling him out.
Mousasi made his long awaited UFC debut against Illir Latifi, after Alexander Gustafsson was forced out of UFC on Fuel TV 9 with an eye injury. Since the win, Mousasi has used pretty much every opportunity to call out Vitor Belfort at 185lbs. Mousasi is planning the cut back down to MW, and a fight with Belfort would certainly be entertaining. Belfort doesn’t seem too interested though, check out what The Phenom had to say to Sherdog.com:
“I don’t like it how people are using Twitter trying [to get opponents]. I want to fight for the belt — that’s my goal. That’s the goal of a fighter, that’s the goal of an athlete in the UFC. That’s the goal of Vitor Belfort – I’m a winner, I’m a champion. That’s what I want, that’s what I’m fighting for. I’ve been proving, I’ve been earning, so the only thing I see next for me is fights that will bring me up.”
“If you want to fight Vitor Belfort, you have to earn it,” said Belfort. “It’s just like if you want to play someone in the quarter or semi finals – you cannot just because you won something a long time ago. No, you have to earn your spot.”
Belfort certainly makes a good point, given that Mousasi’s last victory wasn’t over a top 10 opponent, and Belfort has destroyed two top MW’s in his latest outings. As great an athlete as Mousasi is, he will probably need to prove himself in the UFC, whether he likes it or not. Belfort continued:
“This is division [is full] of great athletes. If Mousasi wants to fight someone, go fight Luke Rockhold, go fight Michael Bisping,” Belfort said. “He has to prove himself, that’s how it is in this sport, you have to earn it. If you want something, earn it, and I did.”
At this point in Belfort’s career and given his current ranking, it probably wouldn’t make sense to take a step down in competition. His next fight should be with the winner of Weidman vs. Silva, but the reality of the situation is that anything can happen. I personally think that Belfort has earned his second shot at The Spider, but with the matchmaking these days, we could well see Belfort vs. Mousasi in the near future.
Check out the full interview with Belfort below, and stay tuned to Lowkick!