Though he had repeatedly expressed his desire to compete on this summer’s landmark UFC: Rio card, Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort was eventually scheduled to take on Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 133 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Despite being excluded from the UFC’s first trip back to Brazil in over ten years, Belfort recently told MMAJunkie.com that he is not upset and is, in fact, more than happy to fill a spot on the Philadelphia card at his bosses’ behest.
“The only disappointment I would have is if God did something and I wasn’t included,” Belfort said. “The UFC needed me in Philadelphia, and anything Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta need from me, I’m there for them. I fight for the UFC and the fans.”
Facing highly-entertaining Japanese-Korean judoka Yoshihiro Akiyama, Belfort pledges to bring his A-game in order to defeat “Sexyama” and line himself back up for a title shot (Belfort challenged Anderson Silva for his belt in February and was promptly knocked out in the first round).
“I want to win this fight for my legacy, and I want a title shot again,” Belfort said. “Akiyama is a tough opponent. He’s a nice guy, but it’s going to be a war. I’m going to go in there 100 percent, and I’m going there to knock him out or submit him. I’m going to be there to bring the heat. I know he will be there to bring the heat, too, so be ready. Don’t miss it.”
UFC 133 takes place this August 6 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.