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Monday, Feb 04, 2002

Vitor Belfort Wants Couture For The Title!

Vitor Belfort Wants Couture for the Title!
By Eduardo Alonso

      With the sudden and unfortunate injury that Tito Ortiz suffered this week, the main event of UFC 36 between Belfort and Ortiz is once again at least postponed, and the fans were left wondering who "The Phenom" would face in his return in the Octagon. Chuck Liddell’s name came up as a possibility. Vitor was rumored to not want to fight in the next UFC, but he assured us this afternoon that this is not the case, and instead he wants to face Randy Couture! "Right now we’re negotiating, but I want to face Randy Couture for the Title," said the Brazilian Phenom. "It’s not that I don’t want to fight, I want to! And since I can’t face Tito, I want to face Couture. He is the one that I want to fight against now." Belfort is still training hard and waiting to know what the UFC will decide, but "The Phenom" is really determined. Will we see one of the most awaited rematches of NHB? Only the UFC can tell.

UFC Prez Dana White Responds…

      Because of Tito’s injury Vitor Belfort was offered Chuck Liddell as an opponent at the same amount of money. Vitor missed multiple deadlines to accept Chuck as an opponent so we had to move on. It does not make any sense for Vitor to fight Randy Couture because they already fought and Randy won convincingly. Vitor is not a heavyweight fighter. We believe he can be a force in the light heavyweight division and we look forward to having him compete in that division in the future.

Dana White

Randy Couture

And "move on" they did…

Zuffa has scrambled to fill the void left by the loss of the Light-heavyweight title fight, and at the present time, it looks like Josh Barnett will face off against Randy Couture at UFC 36 on March 22nd in a bid to take Couture’s Heavyweight title and belt.

Stay tuned to FCF for the latest updates as they happen.

In other Phenom news…
Vitor Belfort is Everywhere!
By Eduardo Alonso

      Vitor Belfort has been everywhere over the last couple of months. "The Phenom" could be seen as a guest in numerous talk shows on Brazilian Networks, debating the most diverse issues, from the violence on the streets to the media image of a fighter. Besides his abilities as a fighter, Vitor also shown his newfound abilities as a cook on a Brazilian TV show, teaching the spectators how to make a nice, healthy meal. If all that was not enough, he could also be seen at boxer Acelino Freitas’ corner in his match against Joel Casamayor in Las Vegas.
Dancin' in the Seats
      From cooking on TV shows, to boxing match appearances, Vitor Belfort is truly everywhere! But probably the most important happening in "The Phenom’s" life outside of the ring was an appearance on Brazil’s most popular soap opera, "The Clone", playing the character of Vitor Belfort himself! "It was very interesting and I was very honored. This is an amazing honor for an athlete, to play himself on a national TV soap opera," Vitor said in describing his TV soap experience. His participation on the drama is not over and his character will return later in the plot. [This item was written just before the news of Tito’s injury broke] But with probably the most important fight of his life coming in the month of March, fighting against UFC champion Tito Ortiz, one could be worried about Belfort’s training for the fight, with all those media appearances. But "The Phenom" remains as focused as ever, and he knows his training must come first and foremost. "There’s a time for everything," assured Belfort. "I can’t do all those media appearances now. Right now it’s time to train and the main thing now is the fight! So if anyone wants to film anything or do any article, right now I’m only talking about the fight. After Tito I’ll do any TV shows or things like that, it will be a pleasure. But now, it’s all about the fight"

From Josh Hedges of Zuffa/UFC:

UFC UK banner

      LAS VEGAS, February 5, 2002…Officials of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) today announced it has signed an exclusive television distribution agreement with British Sky Broadcasting (BskyB), Great Britain’s leading sports television channel, to air "Ultimate Fighting Championship," a one-hour fight show, for 23 consecutive weeks at 11 p.m., every Thursday starting February 7, in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
      The agreement represents a landmark for the UFC’s international distribution strategy. For millions of British and Irish sports fans, it represents the opportunity to watch the world’s best mixed martial arts fighters.
      "Ultimate Fighting Championship" will feature videotaped championship fights and top matches in each of the UFC’s five weight divisions and will bring U.K and Irish fight fans an insiders view into mixed martial arts with personal interviews with its top stars. The host will be UFC announcer Mike Goldberg.
      The series will include championship bouts and matches featuring UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture, Light Heavyweight Champ Tito Ortiz, Middleweight Champ Murilo Bustamante, Welterweight Champ Matt Hughes, Lightweight Champ Jens Pulver and top contenders Josh Barnett, Pedro Rizzo, Pat Miletich, BJ Penn, Chuck Liddell and many others.
      "Today starts a new era in our history and is recognition of our development in the past year," said Dana F. White, UFC president. "This agreement with Sky will increase the international growth of our sport. The United Kingdom and Ireland have some of the world’s most knowledgeable fight fans. We look forward to entertaining them each week."

UFC: Ultimate Knockouts

      In the U.S., UFC events are available to over 50 million pay-per-view television subscribers. UFC: Ultimate Knockouts, a one-hour show featuring the best knockouts in its history, will premiere at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST, Saturday, Feb. 9 on iN DEMAND, DirecTV, The Dish Network, Bell ExpressVu and Viewers Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $9.95. A free re-play will begin immediately after the premiere on all cable systems. Other re-play schedules include: iN DEMAND, Channel iN1, Feb. 9/Feb. 10, 10 p.m. PST/1 a.m. EST; Feb. 12, 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST and 11 p.m. EST/8 p.m. PST; Channel iN2, Feb. 10, 4:30 p.m. EST/1:30 p.m. PST and Feb. 18, 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST. On DirecTV’s Channel 195, the re-play schedule includes all-day tickets on Feb. 10, Feb. 12, Feb. 13, Feb. 18, Feb. 21, Feb. 22 and Feb. 26.
      The Ultimate Fighting Championship is the leading mixed martial arts fighting organization in the world. It is owned and operated by Zuffa LLC, which is headquarterd in Las Vegas, Nev.
posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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