Last night, at the UFC Fight Night 32 card, Vitor Belfort scored his 3rd consecutive KTKO stoppage as he pounded Dan Henderson early with a punch that shook him up and a kick that put him down and earned the referee stoppage. Perhaps it was a bit of a fast stop, and UFC veteran Rosie Sexton might’ve been asking ‘where was this ref my last fight?”, but it goes down as a win for Belfort, and really puts the UFC in a bind with what to do with him next. As for Henderson, he is a warrior who is unlikely to want to go out this way, so we will likely see him one final time. But what will be Vitor’s next fight?
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UFC President dana White has called Bvelfort his own worst enemy, and in many ways the confuson is caused by Belfort. He fights as a middleweight or as a light heavyweight, but he has lost to the champions in both divisions, so the UFC was beginning to work him out of the title picture. His three KO wins in a row means Belfort keeps staying relevant.
The fact is that the Middleweight title held by Chris Weidman is up for grabs in December when he defends against the former champion Anderson Silva. Silva defeated Belfort, and if Silva wins the title again, a rematch of Silva-Belfort doesn’t have a great deal of appeal except for maybe in Brazil.
But if Weidman retains the title, Belfort is the next logical opponent, and you can expect Belfort to be very vocal in his lobbying for a match with Weidman.
Belfort has been criticized his whole career for his mind game, that he has lost fights because he was questioning himself. He does seem to have overcome this, and as he enters the twilight of his career, he is going to motivate himself very well for this fight. The title, the money, the revenge for Brazilians over the defeat of Silva will all leave Belfort and extremely tough out for Weidman.
There could be one more factor that decides it all. Could the UFC send Weidman to Brazil for a title defense against Belfort? The match would be huge there and Belfort has been main eventing in Brazil for a very long time. If the fight is in Brazil, it could come in very close to a pick em fight for the Middleweight title.