The tension between UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and his former friend and training partner–and now number one middleweight contender–almost reached a breaking point at today’s weigh-ins for their UFC 126 clash tomorrow night.
After Silva stepped off of the scale he donned a white mask before facing off intensely and exchanging words with Belfort; an action taken in response to a recent quote Belfort had given MMAJunkie.com.
“I just know one thing: When you say silly things, when you do silly things, it’s because you’re worried, and you’re trying to wear a mask,” Belfort told MMAjunkie recently. “The way I fight, and the way I am, I have respect. I just need to wear one mask: myself.”
As UFC president Dana White, UFC matchmaker Joe Silva, and both fighters’ training partners and coaches separated the two from a staredown which seemed on the verge of getting violent, UFC color commentator Joe Rogan approached Belfort to ask him what was said. Belfort indicated that Silva was responding to his previous quote and he explained to the pro-Belfort crowd that Silva is a good man at heart, despite his provocative actions, echoing statements he made to MMAJunkie in the same prior interview.
“His actions speak louder than his words,” Belfort said. “I think he respects me. I just think he wears the mask, trying to intimidate me. He can see it in my eyes. I’m on fire. I’m not getting intimidated by anyone.”
The spiritual Belfort remained complimentary of Silva, assuring the crowd that he is a good man at heart, but he promised that he will not be afraid to get in Silva’s face tomorrow night and search for the knockout, a mindset he has been harboring since the fight was announced.
“I’m going to go there, and if I get knocked out or knock him out, I’m going to put on a show for you guys,” Belfort told MMAJunkie. “These fans pay thousands of dollars to come here. The UFC invests millions and millions of dollars to see us fight. I’m not going to get intimidated by anyone, and [Silva] knows that.”
Silva and Belfort square off tomorrow night at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, don’t forget to check back on FightLine.com for our live coverage of what could be one of the most stacked and exciting cards of the year.