As we reported last week, an old rivalry has been re-sparked between Brazilian middleweight fighters Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort. Both sluggers have both publicly declared a desire and willingness to fight the other. “The Axe Murderer” instigated the exchange in a recent conversation with Tatame.com
“And now, where are you running to?,” Silva asked. “I’d give him the number one (on the line to fight me) easily, I’m challenging him … I want him.”
Belfort spoke with Sherdog and accepted Silva’s challenge on the provision that their bout come before the UFC’s planned August trip to Brazil.
“Everybody would love to see him try and avenge that loss,” Belfort told Sherdog.com. “He asked, and if he asked, he will have it. I’m ready for anyone the UFC wants to offer me.
“I will ask the UFC to make a fight [for me] before then [UFC’s card in Brazil]. I stayed away for a long time. Now that I’m in good shape, I don’t want to wait six months to fight again.”
Belfort and Silva first met at the UFC’s initial trip to Brazil at UFC Ultimate Brazil in 1998. The fight was a star-making turn for Belfort, as the then-twenty year old striker punched Silva across the cage in the opening seconds of the fight, earning a forty four second knockout and a permanent place on MMA highlight reels.
Silva has been out of action since his UFC 110 (February 21,2010) victory over Michael Bisping to rehab a knee injury which required surgery. Meanwhile, Belfort ended up on the wrong side of a highlight reel in his own first round knockout loss to Anderson Silva, which went down at UFC 126 last month.