The next challenger to Chris Weidman’s undisputed middleweight belt is already widely known for all the right and wrong reasons of late, but none of the matters to Vitor Belfort as long as he brings gold back to Brazil. The knockout artist who is currently on a 3-fight winning streak since losing to Jon Jones in September has made his case for a title shot abundantly clear. He’s won 8 out of his last 10, finished every fight, and he’s only lost to Jones and Anderson Silva. Simply put, Belfort’s run in 2013 was nothing short of breathtaking. The 36-year-old started the year by knocking out Mike Bisping, then former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold, then avenged his Pride 32 loss to Dan Henderson by being the first man to stop Hendo via strikes.
The only downside is that his incredible run is marred by licensing issues in the States, and a somewhat transformed Vitor has no doubt been aided by the controversial testosterone replacement therapy that is in style nowadays.
Rather than Vitor get the title shot down in Brazil for his ‘medical reasons,’ UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta told ESPN that the fight would likely go down in neutral territory this summer, licensing issues be damned:
“Depending on Chris Weidman, I’d like to do Vegas [in] May or July.”
Weidman’s coach, Ray Longo gave his opinion on the location of the fight, and why it should be in Vegas:
“I know Chris is beating the guy but why give him an advantage?” Longo said. “Why does he deserve that? All he did was abuse his body with steroids so that now he needs the exemption. It’s bull—-.”
It’s hard not to agree with Longo, Belfort’s TRT exemptions have raised plenty of eyebrows ever since the former champion decided to take fights exclusively in his home country.