UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva brought as much heat as he ever has — possibly even more than ever — into his February match up against fellow Brazilian Vitor Belfort. Owing to their past history and Silva feeling betrayed by Belfort’s division change and acceptance of a title shot against him, “The Spider” got in Belfort’s face at every turn and put an exclamation point on his pre-fight aggression by scoring a brilliant first round knockout over “The Phenom” via front kick.
This did not sit well with Belfort.
He recently revealed on UFC Sem Limites on Brazilian network RedeTV (props to FightersOnly) that he wants a rematch against Silva because he thinks that his victory was a bit of a fluke.
“The unique thing I did badly in that fight was not moving, [standing still] for too long,” asserted Belfort. “In the moment that I stopped, I didn’t expect that he could land with that kick. Nobody, not even himself, expected that. He was shocked by the way he landed the kick and with the result of it.
“But I was doing very well and trained very hard. All the Brazilian and American fans, people from the whole world know how much I dedicated myself for that fight. I came from injury but I didn’t feel scared to face him. On the contrary, I was in the fight but then that hit landed by chance. I believe what happened was just a one-off moment he had in the fight. He made the most of that and conquered the victory.
“I don’t believe in luck,” he continued. “The more you train the more luck you have, but certainly that was a hit that he will land once out of one thousand attempts. I would like to get the rematch to be sure. It left a bad taste because I know I was feeling very well. Everybody says I was superior in the beginning of the battle, looking for the fight, and I know he was insecure to trade with the hands.
“But Anderson is a very versatile fighter, he is very intelligent and has been coming off a sequence of wins while I came from injury. His timing inside the Octagon weighed a little. The moment I stood still, he caught me and executed me. But obviously I would like a revenge, a second chance. I think not only me but also everybody from Brazil and rest of the world wants it.”
The fight-ending strike that Silva delivered seemed to be most well-calculated and — considering the deftness with which Silva has executed similarly impressive knockouts in prior fights — it is hard to think that his win came about only by chance, or indeed, at 1:1000 odds.
At any rate, Belfort will have to get back in the win column in order to refresh his position in the middleweight contender’s queue, which is currently headed by Yushin Okami, who will face Silva in the champion’s next title defense at UFC: Rio this summer. Incidentally, Belfort has expressed his great desire to also appear on that landmark card, though there have been no indications as of yet in regards to whom he may face or even if he will be given a slot on the rapidly filling fight card.