(“I’m telling you man, we’ll get our own place. I’m thinking bunk beds, bean bag chairs, black light posters and all the soda we can drink. Whaddaya say?” PicProps: Flickr)
Well, we can’t see how this could possibly be good news approximately 15 days out from the biggest fight of his life, but Vitor Belfort has 86’ed trainer Shawn Tompkins in favor of a return to Xtreme Couture, according to a conversation between the coach himself and Mauro Ranallo this week. If we’ve got the timeline straight, Belfort was at Xtreme Couture to begin with, but went with Tompkins when he splintered off to start his own team. Now, as he so often does, Belfort is reversing his position.
Tompkins sounds a little peeved about the split and we gotta believe the differences were pretty irreconcilable to prompt “The Phenom” (who, let’s face it, has always seemed a little flighty) to decamp so close to his scheduled middleweight title fight against Anderson Silva on Feb. 5. After the jump, a short-ish transcript of Ranallo’s and Tompkins’ talk, courtesy Fight Opinion …
"Mauro Ranallo: What about Vitor Belfort? I know that you were helping him prepare for his fight against Anderson Silva. Now, he’s at Xtreme Couture, your former home base (and there has been) talk of him recruiting Mike Tyson to help him prepare for Anderson Silva. What is your relationship with Belfort and why won’t you be in his corner?
Shawn Tompkins: Well, you know, Vitor has done this before. Vitor sometimes, he gets a little clouded in his head. It’s not that he brought in Mike Tyson or anything like that. Vitor just wanders, you know, and he goes where, you know, what’s happening, what’s famous, what’s popular and he’ll go over there and Mike Tyson isn’t teaching him anything. Neither is the other eight gyms that he’s training at. Just because he’s over at Couture’s and not with me doesn’t mean he’s with Couture’s. Vitor isn’t loyal to anybody. We’ve seen it before.
MR: I do sense some acrimony. Are you then not on good terms with Vitor right now?
ST: I hope for the best for him, but you know for a guy who told me about respect, loyalty, and God and all this stuff for so many years, he sure did prove the opposite. So, we’ll see. Best of luck to him. Best of luck to Anderson, as well."
Best of luck to Anderson as well? Dude. Ouch.
We’re gonna hold firm to our belief that Belfort’s best chance to beat Silva is now and has always been to clip him with a punch early in the bout (ala Rich Franklin at UFC 103), so if he really is gypsy-ing around to a bunch of different camps as Tompkins alleges, it might not actually effect the game plan much. Still, with his well-documented history of letting down in big spots and folding under pressure – both mental and physical – it might be a good idea to keep your wallet in your pocket for UFC 126 … unless you want to put some money down on the champ before the odds get any shorter.