Vitor Belfort Set To Face Liddell In London?
Vitor Belfort Set to Face Liddell in London?
By Eduardo Alonso
After his participation on Brazilian TV’s biggest reality show, "The Phenom" is already focused on fighting again and back in training. Despite the beliefs of many that Belfort [pictured at right]wasn’t interested in fighting anymore, about a week after he left the TV show Vitor told FCF that he was already training again and looking for a fight in the UFC, possibly in September. However, we spoke today with Belfort’s management and in surprising news his camp told FCF that Belfort is signed to fight "The Iceman" Chuck Liddell at the UFC in London in July! Also, SBT [One of the most important TV stations in Brazil, and the one where the reality show that featured Belfort was broadcast] is negotiating with the UFC for a possible Live broadcast of the event on National Television in Brazil. Vitor’s camp insists the fight is already a done deal and Belfort is about to end all his media appearances in Brazil to start focusing only on his fight against Liddell, and Vitor’s main focus is now his fighting career!
Vitor Belfort will be moving to Sao Paulo, where he will live from now on and he is currently training at Jorge "Macaco" Patino’s academy. Belfort’s camp mentioned that his training will begin to intensify in about 10 days from now, when people will come over from the USA to help his training. Belfort and Liddell were initially supposed to fight at UFC 37, but "The Phenom" chose to enter the TV show instead of fighting at the UFC. Now, if information from Belfort’s camp is true, this fight promises to have the potential to be one of the most exciting fights in the year of 2002, with two top-ranked Light Heavyweights facing each other on the Octagon. In other Belfort news, Vitor has plans to open an academy in Sao Paulo towards the end of the year, focused not only on general people, but also on fighters. Belfort has also been approached by some toy companies to make a Vitor Belfort action figure and chances are very likely this will happen sometime this year. But according to Belfort himself this is all postponed for now, because his focus and goal right now is to train hard and fight in the July UFC!
From Josh Hedges/Zuffa:
Dana White responds to Frank Warren
In the June 2002 issue of Front Magazine, British boxing promoter Frank Warren had some disparaging things to say about Mixed Martial Arts.
"I bet certain members of the public would buy a ticket for a public hanging. Extreme fighters wouldn’t last five minutes with a proper, schooled boxer. Boxing is an art, a way of life. That ultimate fighting stuff is for guys who chuck steroids down there neck, pump weights in the gym and get out of breath after a couple of minutes. I hope it doesn’t catch on," says Warren.
UFC President Dana White issued this response to Front Magazine regarding Warren’s statement:
"As a respected British boxing promoter, Frank Warren is certainly entitled to his opinion. But, he is dead wrong. The fighters who fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship are the best in the world. UFC fighters are world-class athletes who train much harder every day than boxers would even think of training. We will be in London July 13th at the Royal Albert Hall. Tell Warren to get his fighters ready, guys like Joe Calzaghe, Ricky Hatton, Harry Simon, and Anthony Farnell, or anyone else he thinks can handle us, and I’ll have mine ready in the same weight division. We will put together a fight between any two, and I’ll bet him $50,000 (34,483 pounds sterling) even money on the outcome."
Will Warren put his money where his mouth is?