Are you opposed to Vitor Belfort fighting for a title? | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Vitor Belfort’s recent stretch of dominance has made him the No. 1 contender for the UFC middleweight title.
UFC President Dana White Thursday revealed that Belfort is next in line to face the winner of Saturday’s UFC 168 main event between reigning middleweight champion Chris Weidman and former longtime titlist Anderson Silva.
“I think Vitor has earned the right to face whoever the winner is,” White said at the UFC 168 pre-fight press conference. “Vitor has been out there taking on all comers, and he’s next in line. No doubt about it.”
Belfort has been perfect in non-title bouts since rejoining the UFC in 2009, unsuccessfully challenging Silva for the middleweight belt in 2011 before stepping up on short notice to face light heavyweight king Jon Jones last year.
Since his submission loss to “Bones,” Belfort has been perfect, rattling off three straight knockouts over top-10 competition. “The Phenom” first stopped Michael Bisping in January and then scored a “Knockout of the Year” nominee against Luke Rockhold, dropping the former Strikeforce ruler with a spinning-heel kick this past May at UFC on FX 8.
Belfort last competed on Nov. 9 in the UFC Fight Night 32 headliner, avenging his 2006 decision defeat to Dan Henderson and becoming the first man to knock out the 43-year-old in 40 pro bouts. The light heavyweight rematch lasted just 77 seconds, as Belfort connected flush with a head kick after briefly flooring “Hendo” with a hard uppercut.