Wanderlei Silva has been working on recovering from a knee injury since July of last year and was rumored to be facing several different opponents for his comeback fight until it was finally announced that he would be taking on Chris Leben this July.
Among those rumored opponents was Vitor Belfort, whom Silva actually signed on to fight before UFC president Dana White awarded him the fight he was most excited for: a bout against “The Crippler.” Regardless of the rather tangled explanation of why Silva is fighting Leben now and not Belfort, “The Phenom” believes Silva showed disrespect and inconsistency in calling him out and then accepting to fight Leben.
“Be quiet, Wanderlei,” Belfort told R7.com (props to FightersOnly.com for the translation).
“The facts are what matter. It was very unpleasant, the way he called me out, how he did it,” Belfort continued. “An athlete of his level speaking that way… that was disrespectful. But his tongue turned back against him, that was bad for him.
“He challenged me, talked all this foolishness about what would happen and when it was going to happen — then he said he wasn’t prepared!? So he shouldn’t have called me out, he should have stayed quiet. Thinking before speaking is important.”
Belfort is now slated to take on Yoshihiro Akiyama this summer at UFC 133 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, while Silva will meet Leben at UFC 132.