Many speculated about the source of the bad blood between Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort during the build-up to their UFC 126 main event clash, and it was eventually revealed that most of Silva’s disdain for Belfort manifested as a result of “The Phenom’s” acceptance to fight him for the UFC middleweight title.
Silva and Belfort not only shared a history as close friends but also as training partners, and Silva believes that it was disrespectful and dishonorable for Belfort to ignore the time he spent training with Silva and Team Nogueira by accepting to fight any of the team members. During a recent appearance on the Brazilian UFC program, UFC No Limits, Silva explained this himself (props to FightersOnly for the translation).
“Vitor trained a long time in our team. Team Nogueira. And we have a code of honor under which we will not fight each other,” said Silva. “We spend much more time together than with our own families. Team Nogueira is the product of what Rodrigo has always taught, which is to help one another and always be one united family.”
Silva said that he no longer holds ill-will towards Belfort (which makes sense considering the likely catharsis brought about by sending Belfort’s jaw through his eyebrows), but hinted that the door at Team Nogueira is likely closed to “The Phenom.”
“Vitor spent a lot of time with us – a long time training with us, we opened the door of our home to him. And he broke this code [by agreeing to fight me]. He went his own way; I have nothing against Vitor but he went his own way.”