UFC middleweight Vitor Belfort has been a popular target as of late for fighters interested in leapfrogging him for a crack a the winner of this weekend’s UFC 162 main event between Anderson Silva-Chris Weidman. However, “The Phenom” isn’t having it and has a message for any peers interested in prying a challenge out of him.
According to Belfort, he only wants to face opponents he has something to gain from beating, and as the #1 contender at 185 pounds there aren’t many options out there on that front.
Belfort told Sherdog:
“If you want to fight Vitor Belfort, you’ve gotta earn it. Just like if you want to play someone that’s already in the quarter or semi finals, you cannot, just because you won something a long time ago, you can’t say, ‘Let me play the guys from the semifinals.’ No, you have to go earn your spot.”
“I want to fight for the belt — that’s my goal. That’s the goal of a fighter, that’s the goal of an athlete in the UFC. That’s the goal of Vitor Belfort — I’m a winner, I’m a champion. That’s what I want, that’s what I’m fighting for. I’ve been proving and I’ve been earning, so the only thing I see next for me is fights that will bring me up.”
“I’m not a ladder for anyone….This is division [is full] of great athletes. If Gegard Mousasi wants to fight someone, go fight Luke Rockhold, go fight Michael Bisping. He has to prove himself.”
PHOTO CREDIT: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports