Media Watch: Vitor Belfort Discusses UFC 153 Matchup with Alan Belcher
By Michael Hatamoto
UFC middleweights Vitor Belfort and Alan Belcher will meet at UFC 153 in Rio in two months, as both fighters attempt to impress the UFC and try to earn a title shot.
Belcher has evolved into a strong kickboxer and BJJ practitioner able to blend those skills into a solid winning streak – he’s won four out of five of his last fights, with his last loss a close split-decision against Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 100.
Here is what Belfort said in an interview with Sherdog:
“He’s a complete fighter. He kicks well and he’s really improved his ground skills with [Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach] Daniel Moraes. He’s a tough fighter, young and dedicated, and an excellent opponent in this weight class. That’s why I’m training with the lions.”
Belfort mixed things up and decided to spend time to train with the Blackzilians as he prepares for Belcher at UFC 153. It’s always interesting when a fighter decides to switch camps to prepare for fights, as it can either propel Belfort’s game to the next level – or cause him to suffer a bit in the cage.
“I needed tough training, so I went to the Blackzilians. They have excellent, high-level fighters. I’m very happy with this training because I needed to be pushed. I needed sparring partners,” Belfort explained. “I’m happy. I feel like new. I’m coming home very happy and joyful.”
However, I fully expect training with the Blackzilians will be beneficial for Belfort, as the likes of Rashad Evans, Alistair Overeem and Gesias Cavalcante are currently in Florida.
It’s interesting that Belcher was willing to accept the fight at UFC 153 in Rio, where he’ll be in clearly hostile territory. The Brazilian fans are known for being sometimes extremely harsh against foreign fighters facing off against Brazilian fighters.
If he beats Belcher at UFC 153, Belfort could be one step closer to earning another middleweight title shot. Since demolishing Jason MacDonald and Rousimar Palhares, a win over Belfort will clearly put Belcher in potential title contention, so there will be a lot on the line for both fighters.