(“So then the older bull says, ‘Hell son, let’s *walk* down there and screw *all* of them cows!’ Seriously Vitor, I’ve got a million of ’em. Hey, you ever hear the one about the rabbi and the Indian chief … ” PicProps: Las Vegas Sun)
It’s amazing that after nearly two decades of mixed martial arts in this country, reporters are still asking fighters who they want to face next. Really, has any one of these guys ever answered that question with anything other than some variation of “It doesn’t matter/Whoever the UFC wants me to fight next”? Take Vitor Belfort, who is now fully recovered from shoulder surgery and training in Las Vegas for a future bout with the winner of Anderson Silva’s UFC 117 title defense against Chael Sonnen on Aug. 7. You think Belfort is going to admit to Las Vegas Sun Reporter Brett Okamoto that he cares who emerges from that event with the middleweight belt? Fat chance.
"I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t worry about what’s going to come my way,” he says. “As long as I stay on my path, I’m not worried about who’s in it.”
Of course what Belfort means to say is, he wants to fight Anderson Silva. Good thing for us, Shawn Tompkins is there to read between the lines. Good thing for Belfort, Tompkins also thinks he’s going to get his wish …
"I think Chael will try to pick a fight, but that’s the only way he becomes popular or famous because we all know he’s a boring fighter …,” Tompkins says. “Anderson is the man and we want to beat that man. I think that fight would mean a little more to us. And honestly, go ask the fans who they want to see fight. It’s Anderson and Vitor."
"Nothing against Chael, but I think he talks better than he fights," Tompkins continues. "I’ll be front row (at UFC 117) studying both of them because that’s my job. I think Chael will talk himself into the fight but, ultimately, Anderson will knock him out."
Yep, nothing against Chael or anything …
Belfort and Silva have some history. They briefly trained together at Ed Soares’ Black House gym and at one time or another they were scheduled to fight each other at UFC 108, 109 and 112, before various injuries to both parties made those bouts impossible.
Also likely hoping Silva beats Sonnen (or at least actually fights the guy insteads of just dancing) could be the UFC. A Belfort vs. Silva match would indeed be a bigger deal and, if Silva comes away unscathed from UFC 117, the company could conceivably put that bout on its gala end-of-the-year PPV.