In seek of another title shot, Vitor Belfort declines fight with Tim Kennedy


Just as rumors began heating up that Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort would be facing Tim Kennedy as his next opponent, news comes that the surging UFC middleweight star is refusing the fight. In fact, there’s only one fight that Belfort is interested in taking, and that’s the 185 lb. title shot that he feels he has earned with his recent string of spectacular knockouts.

Belfort revealed his beliefs to Brazilian website, who reported that Belfort’s wife and manager Joana Prado confirmed that her husband would only accept a championship opportunity at 185.

However, with the belt currently tied up in the Chris Weidman/Anderson Silva rivalry, Belfort could be on the shelf for quite some time if he decides to wait it out. And UFC President Dana White has been none too eager to offer Belfort a title shot, perhaps due to the fact that is extremely tough to get Belfort licensed to fight anywhere outside of Brazil due to his well-publicized TRT use.

While Kennedy, who defeated BJJ wiz Roger Gracie at UFC 162, readily accepted the opportunity to fight Belfort in “The Phenom’s”” homeland, the Army Ranger got a quick decline. But apparently Belfort is open to catchweight and/or light heavyweight bouts without the title on the line, something that he has done before in his win over Rich Franklin and his loss to Jon Jones for the 205 lb. title last fall.

Belfort’s next fight has been a hot topic in MMA as of late, and it appears that the situation is becoming more convoluted rather than clear as time passes.

Who do you think Belfort should face in his next bout?

  • Belfort deserves the title shot no doubt but the fact of the matter is that going to have to wait until the rematch with Sliva and Weizmann is over. Hence I do hope he fights again as that would be a long lay off and hey why not make your case for a title shot unavoidable by destroying one more dude and adding another W in your current streak of wins

  • Everyone wants to see Silva vs Weidman next…Vitor has to accept that this fight makes sense and the fans want it. However, Dana should offer Belfort the winner of Weidman/Silva and let him decide if he wants a warm up catchweight.

    Maybe a rematch with Dan Henderson or even better WANDERLEI SILVA who is not booked…..

  • I'm glad.

    That pairing made absolutely no sense and one really has to wonder what White & Silva were thinking, in trying to arrange it.

    How do you match an un-ranked fighter with the #1 contender in a division?

    If I had to throw a dart at the board for a fight, I'd throw it @ 205 and say, give 'em a fight with Gegard Mousasi.

    Other than that, Belfort has earned his ranking and his shot @ 185 and needs to wait for the outcome of Weidman / Silva II. Sadly, he may even have to wait on the outcome of Weidman / Silva III, because the fight is a remote possibility.

    The Phenom should take no fights @ 185 unless it's a title fights. It would be poor business decision to do any less.

    On a side note, I'm beginning to sense that White has little respect for Vitor and not only what he's accomplished, but (also) what he's done for the company. In particular, it's as if the favor that he did the promotion in taking the Jones fight @ UFC 152 (when no one else @ 205 would) has passed without notice or appreciation. For, I have yet to see the "bone" that the UFC should have thrown to Belfort for having taken that bout.

    • @Brian…..Vitor has made his money in the sport so I suspect that standing his ground is the smartest thing to do and just let the fans make it happen…Believe it or not, overwhelming public opinion that is written and said on forums goes back to the board room…

      I think Dana just wanted to watch Kennedy get smashed by a head kick for the pay debacle.

      Vitor gets alot of discredit yet he is one of the most exciting fighters…!!!
      Noone talks about Frank Mir's TRT the way they do with Vitor. I think the best thing that happened was for Silva to lose because lets face it Dana White was obsessed with Silva. So I believe Vitor will get his shot because Silva can no longer play MR ARROGANCE. Anderson Silva has played a big part in discrediting Belfort…

      • There would be few fighters in the UFC right now, who would be more exciting then VB. He's been on a roll @ 185 and crushed everything that has been put in front of him. Since losing to Silva, only 1 fighter out of 4 made it out of the first round and that guy (Bisping) didn't make it out of the second. His total time in the ring over the 4 fights is somewhere around 13 minutes or less.

        Regarding your thoughts on White feeding Kennedy to Belfort, I had a similar idea. That said, I think Tim is a tough fight in the division, however, he hadn't earned a shot.

        Strangely enough, I wouldn't mind seeing Belfort / Sonnen. Even though Sonnen doesn't deserve the fight either, I'd like to see Belfort flatten him.

        Ultimately, I want 2 things for Belfort:

        1. A 185 title-shot
        2. Silva / Belfort II

        I want to see a re-match between The Spider and The Phenom, because I don't think the fight would go the same way, again and I think it would be an awesome fight.

        Regarding their first match and as simply a fan of MMA and great fights, I felt ripped-off. Yes, the kick was a great win for Silva and a highlight-reel-moment, but the fight had no real meat on the bone. I would love to see Silva and Belfort "really" go at it and I think VB's game is on a whole other level, right now. It would be interesting.

        • Well you cant say Vitor hasnt had his share of title shots, at LHW and MW, lost both.

        • The spook of Anderson Silva has been buried now, people know they can catch him, outwrestle him…Chael proved you can outwrestle and Weidman proved you can catch him. Nowhere in the Belfort fight was Belfort being completely dominated by Silva…ok he got ko'd but we can say the same about Chuck Liddell….He got caught. A rematch will play out differently.

          • You don't know that. If you take away TRT you take away the current spook of Vitor.

        • I would like to see Silva vs non trt Vitor.

      • TRT played a big part in discrediting Vitor. I could care less if he ever gets a shot again while he's on TRT.

  • I agree. A bout with Kennedy does nothing for Belfort, having recently knocked out Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold, who in turn beat Kennedy.

    Although Kennedy is definitely a tough out (albeit not the most exciting fighter), he shouldn't be matched up with number 1-2 contender types after only beating a very visibly drained Roger Gracie in his only UFC fight.

    I say let Kennedy duke it out with Philippou, while Belfort can fight the winner of Okami-Jacare should he chosse to wait that long. If he's truly going to try to outlast the Weidman-Silva rivalry, maybe he should take an exciting bout at 205, perhaps against a Rashad Evans or someone comparable, where his stock wouldn't take much of a hit with a loss.

    • If belfort fights the guys he currently beat without TRT then he has proven his worth for a title shot.

  • Winner of Rua/Sonnen would be fun, or winner of Machida/Davis,(but if Machida wins, I think he will be gunning for a title shot as well) or Mousasi or even Teixeira, It's kinda difficult to match him up with a 185'er. when he's ranked 3rd, and doesn't quiet make sense to fight with a non ranked fighter of the 185 division. Wonder what Joe Silva will come up with.

  • I doubt the UFC wants to see Belfort, with his poor TRT reputation, sporting a title belt. It would delegitimatize the belt.

    More likely, I see the UFC using Belfort's current status as #1 contender to bring legitimacy to other fighters. Imagine, if someone beats Vitor right now, they jump straight to the top of the division. This is why they're offering Tim Kennedy Vitor.

  • D

    That's a baaaaaaad matchup for Belfort and he knows it. He would probably spend most of that fight on his back and lose a decision.

    • Not saying too much, but Rumble Johnson was a wrestler and couldnt keep up with Vitor's stamina and strength.

      • Rumble also had the disadvantage of ref bias in Brazil giving Vitor repeated advantages.

      • D

        He also came in 12 pounds overweight.

        I can't think of a fight where Kennedy gassed or was overpowered, so it would come down to skill sets, and Kennedy's would be difficult for Vitor to deal with.

  • Rumor has it the Maia will be facing Shields in October,really Dana? really? Shields? come on Joe Silva! WTF is up with that man! warn me before you slap in the face!!!

    • Maia should be on route to a belt and I think he can take it from anyone in the division.

  • This can only happen in an organization where title shots are given nor earned. Then you have to beg for a title shot and kiss sb's *ss to get it. This situation works perfectly for Dana White and s*cks for everyone else, including PPV buyers.

  • Vic

    Diaz should fight against Belfort for a catchweight bout!

  • God, I need to get on that TRT too! I'm 41 tomorrow and my arms don't look anything like his, no matter how many chin-ups or dips I do, lol. That guy is freaking jacked!

  • Vic

    What would Jesus do.

  • Ufc wants out of the vitor business, he will end up being a PR nightmare if this things turns to a Barry bonds type of situation. I think they fear that.