Belfort Sends Message to Champion Silva with Brutal Akiyama KO

By Mike Whitman Aug 6, 2011
Six months later, Vitor Belfort still has Anderson Silva on his mind.

It didn’t take long for “The Phenom” to mention the UFC’s reigning middleweight champion following his blistering knockout of Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 133 on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Belfort (Pictured; file photo) turned out the judoka’s lights with a relentless flurry of punches, swarming Akiyama after hurting him early with a left straight to the temple.

As Belfort tells it, Silva should have met the same fate as Akiyama in their February title clash. Had Silva not landed a laser-like front kick to the jaw that knocked his challenger silly, Belfort believes his Brazilian countryman would have also eventually fallen beneath his fists.

“If Anderson hadn’t thrown that kick, this would have happened to him. He knows that in his mind,” said Belfort at the post-fight press conference. “I was so hungry [before UFC 133]. It was hard to find sparring partners because I was so mentally focused. I think I’m faster than before. People say I look like the ‘vintage’ Vitor. In this weight division, whatever I hit, I make sure it goes down. Nobody is going to stop me.”

Though the middleweight believes things should have gone differently in his bout with Silva at UFC 126, Belfort is casting his eyes toward the future. A decorated and well-traveled veteran, Belfort seems most concerned about the tasks he still wishes to accomplish before his career is over. At the top of that list is his desire to face the winner of Silva’s showdown with Yushin Okami at UFC 134.

“Everything in the past is gone. I’m looking for the future,” said Belfort. “I feel like I accomplished a mission. People confuse dreams with desire. I had a dream when I was 13 to be world champion, and when I was 19, I conquered it. I made a bad move when I was young and left the UFC. Now I’m back, and I’m part of the past, present and future.”

Belfort’s vision for the future stretches beyond the scope of his own career, however. Speaking of UFC 134 -- which goes down Aug. 27 in Rio de Janeiro -- Belfort believes that the popularity of MMA will even eclipse that of soccer in his homeland in the coming years.

“Brazil, get ready: The UFC is coming,” said Belfort. “We are going to overcome soccer in three years, and I know that for a fact. Wherever the UFC goes, we overcome everybody. I’m not a crazy dreamer. This is reality.”
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