This August’s UFC: Rio fight card almost saw the addition of a middleweight rematch between Brazilian legends Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort. The two met at the UFC’s first and to date only trip to the South American country back in 1998 for “UFC: Ultimate Brazil,” where Belfort knocked out Silva in blisteringly fast fashion with a barrage of punches in the first round.
Both men had indicated their willingness to take the rematch for the UFC’s return trip to Brazil over Twitter and UFC president Dana White even revealed that Silva had signed on the dotted line. However, “The Axe Murderer” had first indicated a supreme interest in fighting the similarly styled Chris Leben, a match that White awarded to Silva only after he played ball and signed to fight Belfort.
This left Belfort in the lurch and he recently vented on the situation to Tatame.com (props to BloodyElbow.com).
“Yeah my friend, so what you gonna do, right? The tongue is a man’s whip and he needs to learn to speak less and fight more,” said Belfort. “But anyways, what you gonna do? That’s life brother, I don’t care about that, I am focused on my next challenge. I don’t care about names, I don’t choose my opponents, my focus is always my next fight, regardless of who that may be.
“For me it’s cool, I don’t live life in the expectations of men, [I live life] in the expectations of God, life is like that,” he continued. “Sometimes we lose, the unforeseen happens and we need to be ready and trained, because we cannot guarantee the results. I am the type of guy that will follow through with what I say, I’m not a man who says one thing and don’t do it.”
Regardless of his fight with Silva falling through, Belfort would like to keep his spot on the monumental card this summer, as fighting in a high-profile bout in his home country has always been his dream.
“That’s all I want. That’s my dream, to be able to fight in Rio de Janeiro, in my country,” he said. “Fighting for my people has always been my dream. Since I was one of the pioneers of the sport in my country, it would be a sort of reward for everything I’ve done for the sport.”
Belfort last appeared in action this past February, where he was knocked out in dramatic fashion in the first round by UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva.