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Belfort Reveals He Will Be Back in the Octagon in October and it Will Not Be Against Anderson Silva


Apparently Vitor wasn’t bullshitting when he said he isn’t waiting around for Anderson Silva to heal from his rib injury to fight the UFC middleweight champ next spring. According to the former UFC light heavyweight champion, he will take another fight in the mean time which should appease those who believe that he should at least have one fight at middleweight in the Octagon before getting a title shot.

The question is, who should he fight?

The UFC’s middleweight division has not shortage of contenders, but most of the usual suspects are already committed to fights and would have to abridge their training camps — that is if they escape their upcoming fights without any injuries.

Let’s look at the candidates for facing Belfort.

Nate Marquardt: Although this fight could decisively decide who the next title shot belongs to, Nate is tied up with Rousimar Palhares for the main event of UFN 22 on September 15.

Alan Belcher: Belcher vs Belfort would be an entertaining scrap, but Alan is recovering from surgery to reattach a detached retina and is unsure he will ever fight again.

Demian Maia: The Brazilian submission expert is still in the process of climbing back up the title contention ladder, but there isn’t a lot he would bring to a fight to answer for Belfort’s strength and boxing skills. He’s also fighting Mario Miranda at UFC 118.

Michael Bisping: Bisping would be a somewhat competitive opponent for Belfort, but I don’t see Vitor having trouble with the cocky Brit in any areas. Also, he has already signed to face Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 120 in October and he has already called out Chael Sonnen and Patrick Cote for his next fight.

Yoshihiro Akiyama: Losing to Chris Leben may have dropped his stock down slightly in the division, but the fact that he’s already booked to face Bisping makes it a moot point when justifying that he deserves the the fight.

Chris Leben: Besides his humbling by Anderson Silva in "The Spider’s" UFC debut, "The Cat Smasher" hasn’t really had a bad showing in the Octagon. Could he catch Vitor? Sure, it’s possible. It is likely? Probably not. I just don’t see the UFC risking another popular contender’s standing by matching him up with an intangible like Leben.

Wanderlei Silva: Their Ultimate Brazil fight is likely one that Wand wants to have a redo of, however he’s injured and likely wouldn’t be ready for a November fight of that magnitude even if he was completely healed as he wouldn’t have the luxury of a complete training camp. Besides that, Silva hasn’t done enough lately to be fighting for number one contender status at this point.

Yushin Okami: Okami beat a really good fighter in Mark Munoz in his last fight, prompting UFC president Dana White to remark that he’s definitely in the mix at 185 for a shot at Silva’s gold. Sure, he’s said the same thing before about Okami deserving a shot, and he’s said the same thing about Belfort and a host of other middleweights, but why not have Okami fight Belfort to determine who gets the shot at Silva when he’s healthy. Both of their dance cards are free and both are injury free, so it makes perfect sense.

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ghostboner- August 23, 2010 at 11:23 pm
Nov. might be a bit soon for Sonnen. I don't remember if he was on suspension after the Silva fight, but I remember him looking like shit. So best case scenario is 13ish weeks to fight, worst case is 9ish depending on when in Nov the fight is, AND assuming he is not on medical suspension as of today. Also assuming he and Dana want to pass up a sure fire ppv hit with Silva-Sonnen II and do Sonnen-Belfort. And we know how Dana White and Republicans love to pass up on money. They just hate that green shit, both of em. So I doubt Sonnen will fight again until we know if Anderson keeps his belt.

I am down for Okami or Leben, but if Vitor beats Leben, this is the 3rd fight in like 6? months for Leben, and it will be called a tune up for Vitor. Also remember that Leben might need some time off too. Although, the sheer underdog factor combined with Leben's streak this year makes me kind of want to see him get this fight and win. But realistically, Okami makes the most sense.
A Body Like Chucks- August 23, 2010 at 7:10 pm
i think the possibility of Belfort vs. Okami would be the best, whoever loses that fight, fight Leben, then after Silva beats down Sonnen in the first round you get Silva vs Belfort or Silva vs Okami, either way both will be an exciting fight, silva and okami match up perfectly.
Milklavar- August 23, 2010 at 6:07 pm
You messed up again CP. Vitor will fight Chael Soennen (who you did not list) for the next shot at Silva.

Both are somewhat deserving to fight Silva now, but b/c of Silva's injury the earliest he would fight is Feb/Mar and the next defense after that would be August-ish, which is quite some time for either fighter.

I am aware you would be knocking out a marketable top contender by matching them up. Additionally, Vitor was been promised a title shot, but I believe the fans want to see Silva vs. Soennen 2. Also, we all know D. White will deliver what the fans want to see. Therefore, it only makes sense to see Soennen vs. Belfort.

It will happen. Quote me.
Get Off Me- August 23, 2010 at 5:43 pm
Many of you agree with me on Leben v. Belfort... it's definitely getting KOTN, FOTN or SOTN honors..proving there fans who like excitement and do not necessarily believe Chael Sonnen fought like the second coming of christ against Silva thus making him the absolute best thing since sliced bread.

I don't get how some still want to see Sonnen v. Silva right away....just don't and never will....what if Silva was really injured and this is why he has to take time off now. What might that second fight prove? At what cost to me/you the viewer?

I say Sonnen would probably beat Belfort in a three round unanimous decision fight that would make Jon Fitch fights look like Nick Diaz fights.

Then you take all of Leben's steam and crush it with Thunder Okami in a fight that might have a 80% chance of shit show showers.

Then you can fight Leben v. Belfort when they both lose, that's marketable.

I have news for you, eventually, like inside their next two fights, Okami and Sonnen are going to be fighting each other again at the rate they are going.
Make Okami v. Sonnen next and get it out of the way, give us Leben v. Belfort now for entertainment, it gives us a chance at Belfort v. A.Silva which is all I want.

I do not think Chael Sonnen deserves another oppoertunity just yet, he's not Randy Couture people.
mt59801- August 23, 2010 at 5:00 pm
double post comment appears below:
mt59801- August 23, 2010 at 4:58 pm
SONNEN . Maybe he didn't walk away with the belt but he should the spider's gatekeeper anything less than chael will disappoint me and most likely be an easy victory for him. Leben or Marquardt would be great fights too, but going from either of them to the champ makes no sense to me the rest of the people on the list are tune up fights plain and simple.
jimbonics- August 23, 2010 at 4:26 pm

That's the order of preference in my book. Leben is on a 3 fight win streak. This is the test for a title shot. If not now, when? If he were to beat Belfort, it would be 4 wins in a calendar year. No one would question his contender status. Should Belfort win, he will have have stopped a red-hot fighter, and no one would question his #1 contender status, except Sonnen. Sonnen got next.
cecils_pupils- August 23, 2010 at 3:50 pm
Agreed - Art Gibs has it right. Belfort should only face Sonnen. Winner gets the next shot at Anderson.

That is all.
Reverend_Clint- August 23, 2010 at 2:04 pm
Okami so if belfort wins he can say he beat the #1 contender of like 5 years
EvilScott- August 23, 2010 at 2:02 pm
rearnakedchickenchoke- August 23, 2010 at 1:30 pm
Sorry to point out the obvious, but why does your headline say October when the tweet clearly says November?
shadowbox- August 23, 2010 at 1:16 pm
Ilike the belfort leben matchup the best. If belfort fighs okami or sonnen there's a good chance he'll. Get grinder out and I want to se belforts stand-up against silva
dogpt3- August 23, 2010 at 1:13 pm
Leben Belfort would be a banger for sure. Someones gonna get knocked the hell out and its prolly gonna be the "crippler". But I agree that Sonnen Belfort makes the most sense for me. Silva can't fight for the time being so it definitely makes sense to settle the debate of who deserves to fight him next.
RwilsonR- August 23, 2010 at 1:04 pm
I'm with Art Gibs - Belfort vs. Sonnen was strangely left out of the discussion.

Ideally, though, I'd like to see Belfort vs. Shields, because I don't think Shields gets it to the ground, which means Shields might be in an exciting fight for 30 seconds before he gets knocked out. But that won't happen, so I say Belfort vs. Sonnen.
Nut Puncher 9000- August 23, 2010 at 12:45 pm
TItle: His=He

Article: Sonnen gets the next fight with Silva, no question. Leben is the answer to Belfort's problems. Leben is on a roll so beating him will mean something and should Leben pull it off again, he would then deserve another shot at the title. Not to mention that a good stand up beat down is always good for ratings in the UFC. It would be a folly on the part of the UFC/Joe Silva to not take advantage of Leben's rise as of late to push someone into #1 contendership, even if it ends up being Leben himself. Considering they already wanted Belfort to fight A.S. this fight is the one that should happen.

Okami...he is not championship material. Mark Munoz is tough but no indicator that you should be thrust into contendership. The fact he holds a W over Silva means nothing. Read that again...NOTHING.
Turd Furgeson- August 23, 2010 at 12:39 pm
I wonder if everybody is still gonna love Marquardt after Palhares annihilates him.

I think Nate may be a little over-rated. His only credible victories have come over Kampann, who has since moved to welterweight, and Maia who is a submission artist that decided he'd try to win the fight standing.
ReX13- August 23, 2010 at 12:36 pm
i believe i brought up Leben-Belfort on the BumRush (yeah, i played that card), would be an exciting fight and everyone would go home happy. Except the loser, obviously.

Get Off Me- August 23, 2010 at 12:35 pm
"Chris Leben: Besides his humbling by Anderson Silva in "The Spider's" UFC debut, "The Cat Smasher" hasn't really had a bad showing in the Octagon."

I could swear I heard different from the reaction to his fight with A-Train.
I remember there was quite a bit of criticism of Leben's "lack of gameplan" in that fight....the one where he let A-train gas and took him out later in the fight, as he had planned.
Art Gibs- August 23, 2010 at 12:32 pm
Am I missing something? Why not Belfort v. Sonnen? From a promotional standpoint it's probably better to wait for Sonnen v. Silva 2, but shouldn't Sonnen at least be considered as Belfort's next opponent?
Viva Hate- August 23, 2010 at 12:30 pm
I heard some rumors that the UFC was playing this safe and rocking it old school. Vitor will be facing and invisible bear, the bear will come out strong but take a dive in the third.

UFC is protecting the match up against Silva.
Get Off Me- August 23, 2010 at 12:27 pm
As I said before..Belfort v. Leben please.
Let Okami have his rematch with Sonnen.
Bisping v. Belfort...HA!
Belfort still has his speed and power from yester year, Leben may be the only one right now who could at least take a couple and perhaps land a few himself before going to sleep.
flyingogoplata- August 23, 2010 at 12:25 pm
Leben makes the most sense here.

Vitor should be able to out strike Leben and if Leben catches him then they could promote the hell out of it with highlights (well for Silva anyway) of their first fight, you know back when Anderson was exciting.
ctownhood- August 23, 2010 at 12:22 pm
Okami makes sense for sure. My hope is, the lawsuit between the UFC and Bellator is settled out of court. The penalty for Bellator? They have to send Hector Lombard to the UFC as compensation :)
jgrant- August 23, 2010 at 12:21 pm
The UFC would never risk Belfort losing to Okami.