When Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort first met in the octagon, the former was an unstoppable, arrogant-bordering-on-cocky champion and the latter was a battle-tested veteran who would supposedly serve as his toughest test to date. They shared many similarities beyond their penchant for knocking people out (they’re both Brazilian!), but when push came to shove, Silva emerged as the clearly superior fighter.
Four years later, Silva has lost his title, broken his leg in the cage, and been popped for PED’s which may or may not have been caused by Thai black market sex pills, while Belfort himself has also lost a title bid and done pretty much everything within his power to deflect criticism from his PED-riddled past. Again, the similarities are striking here, which is perhaps why the two former champions have once again been booked to throw down.
Details after the jump.
According to a report by Brazilian publication Globo, Belfort and Silva have agreed to face one another at UFC 197 in March. UFC officials have yet to confirm the booking, which will serve as a rematch of the pair’s infamous title fight back at UFC 126.
Most recently, Belfort bounced back from a quick loss to champion Chris Weidman at UFC 187 with an even quicker starching of Dan Henderson at Fight Night 77 earlier in the month. If confirmed, the fight will serve as Silva’s first since his unanimous decision win over Nick Diaz at UFC 183, the aftermath of which saw him test positive for several banned substances.
Meanwhile, Tim Kennedy, who has been calling out both Silva and Belfort for some time now, remains on the sidelines. His reaction to the potential booking between the two was about the most Tim Kennedy thing ever (via Twitter):
For what it’s worth, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza also seems to think that this fight is a bad idea for Silva, telling MMAFighting that:
I believe the result would be the same. Anderson is impressive, but, in my opinion, as a friend and seeing him as guy that is helping me now, I think he should fight again before fighting Belfort to get his rhythm back.
Belfort is in a strong rhythm now, he fought three times in a row now. Anderson spent some time off, had this issue now and spent a year off, so I think Anderson should fight again first.
So yeah, this should be an interesting fight, with even more interesting drug test results. Who you go, Nation?