Vitor Belfort has been told he will fight for the middleweight championship when he returns to the Octagon, and he wants to do it in his hometown.
"The Phenom" told Tatame he wants to face the winner of Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida at Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He declined to make a prediction for the main event of UFC 175, on July 5, but indicates Weidman as a preferable opponent.
"Bring Weidman. Tell him to train more," Belfort said. "Weidman and Vitor. It’s a fight for Maracana."
Maracana will host the World Cup final on July 13 with 75,000 fans in attendance. If the UFC can do a fight at the stadium, it would be the biggest live event in promotion history. PRIDE considered doing an event in the stadium in the past, but it never materialized.
The UFC returns to Rio de Janeiro in a yet-to-be-announced pay-per-view card on October 25 at Maracanazinho, but the gymnasium is not as big as Macarana. UFC 179 would be sold out with approximately 13,000 fans.
"I can only see Weidman vs. Belfort. I can only see this. I can’t talk about anything else, only about my belt. It won’t get in my head," he said. "Of course that I will watch the (Weidman vs. Machida) fight, but I only wait for a winner to fight me. I have no preference. I’m going after the title. I conquered this, that’s what I deserve."
There is no official word yet if the UFC will book Belfort to fight outside of Nevada after he tested positive for a surprise drug test conducted by the local athletic commission in February, but the Brazilian middleweight is confident that the testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) talk is behind him.
"They won’t have excuses now. It’s good," he said. "When I beat them, what are they going to talk about? Will they say I’m taking something from Mars?"