UFC’s Vitor Belfort Explains Position on Turning Down Interim Title Fight
By FCF Staff
UFC President Dana White reported this weekend that Vitor Belfort has turned down an interim title fight with Lyoto Machida, and now the middleweight contender has explained why.
Belfort was scheduled to fight champion Chris Weidman at UFC 184 later this month, but a rib injury forced the accomplished wrestler to withdraw. The Weidman-Belfort fight has been delayed three times now since it was first booked for last May.
After UFC 183 this past weekend, White claimed that Belfort approached him about setting up an interim title fight, but when Machida was offered as an opponent, the Brazilian star turned it down. Belfort, however, has relayed via Instagram that he’s only interested in fighting for the world championship, not an interim belt.
About the cancellation of my UFC 184 fight. I would like to say that, as everyone else, I’m very disappointed with all this situation. For exactly one year, I have seen my dream to make history in UFC with my 3rd world title in a different weight category postponed. Here are some facts: – UFC had to reschedule the middleweight world title content 3 times because of my opponent’s injuries. (from May/14 to July/14- Weidman had a knee surgery, from December/14 to February/15 – Weidman had his hand broken, from February/15 to probably May/15- Weidman had his ribs hurt) – MY FOCUS WAS ALWAYS THE MIDDLEWEIGHT BELT AND I CLIMBED THE LADDER TO ACHIEVE MY POSITION. – This is why I won't fight for an interim, but if UFC gives 8 weeks and the middleweight Belt available for dispute I fight with anyone from the ranking. Not for an Interin, But the Middleweight Belt! – I’ve been in this sport for 19 years and I have never let UFC down. – I accepted to fight for the Light Heavyweight Belt right after the my sister got kidnapped and I still won the world championship. – I offered myself to fight in the UFC 152 against Jon Jones with less than 8 weeks to prepare myself to the bout and I had exactly the same injury my opponent has now and still I stepped up to the fight. I would like to thank UFC, the press and fans support, always. Focused in the Middleweight Belt! #thephenom #rumoaoterceirocinturao #andthenew #otbfight #9inewpp #tomakehistory
Belfort hasn’t fought now since November, 2013, when he stopped Dan Henderson. The only man to defeat Belfort since 2011 is light-heavyweight champ Jon Jones.