UFC middleweight contender Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort has been waiting in the wings for a shot at UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva’s belt since he was forced to pull out of a scheduled UFC 112 match with champ due to a shoulder injury. Belfort is now recovered and, after Silva’s latest challenger Chael Sonnen gave “The Spider” more than a run for his money and is likely to earn an immediate rematch, it looks like the Brazilian striker will have to wait just a little bit longer for his title shot. Belfort recently spoke with Sherdog.com about when he expects to make his next appearance and revealed that he will not be facing Sonnen in a number one contenders match.
“I talked to Lorenzo (Fertitta) this week and will return in November,” Belfort said. “I just asked him to not be (on the November card in Germany). I’m tired of traveling. I would like to return to fighting here in America. According to my conversation with Lorenzo, my opponent will not be Sonnen, but another guy that will be decided soon.”
The UFC is expected to hold two events this November, UFC 122 and UFC 123. UFC 122, as Belfort alluded to, is expected to take place in Germany sometime on or around November 13th. Not much is known about UFC 123 other than it is likely to take place in the US around November 20th.
Belfort told Sherdog that he has recovered from his bout-canceling injury and will be getting back in fight shape at the Las Vegas-based Xtreme Couture gym.
“With the help of Shawn Tompkins, Ray Sefo and all the partners here, I hope to reach my best shape soon,” he said. “I am eager to return to my training routine as well as very happy here.”
A non-title bout at middleweight will help Belfort solidify his status as a contender at 185lbs (if he wins) as some question whether or not he is deserving of a middleweight title shot since he has not yet competed in the UFC’s middleweight division.