It was revealed recently that number one UFC middleweight contender Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort had parted ways with his coach Shawn Tompkins just a few weeks shy of his championship bout against middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva.
Now training with the crew at Xtreme Couture, Belfort came under heavy criticism from Tompkins for leaving his team; during an appearance on The Fight Show, Tompkins described Belfort as having a “clouded” mental state and being a disloyal hypocrite. The Brazilian slugger took to his Twitter account to refute Tompkins’ statements.
“If I think something, but if I have nothing good to speak, I would rather shut up,” Belfort said. “I think I have the right to choose who prepares me because loyalty and respect I had. I spoke in front of him that I wouldn’t like to continue with his view but he took it to the personal side, but what he said doesn’t match with the truth.”
Tompkins also took a jab at Belfort for “wandering” from trainer to trainer based on what’s currently popular, basing his opinion on a recent rumor that had Belfort training with boxing legend Mike Tyson. “The Phenom” has debunked that rumor, revealing that he and Tyson are friends and that he finds inspiration in talking with the former heavyweight champ, but that they do not train together. He reiterated that fact in his Twitter post and seemingly washed his hands of the situation with Tompkins.
“He is badly informed, Mike Tyson never trained me. I don’t know where that came from,” Belfort said. “Life is made of choices. I did mine and he did his.”
“The Phenom” will challenge for Silva’s middleweight strap this February 5th in the main event of UFC 126. We will see then what, if any, effect Belfort’s camp switch has on the fight.