Vitor Belfort's surprising response to Luke Rockhold's UFC on FX 8 callout


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

vitor-belfort-20.jpgLuke Rockhold created a bit of a stir when the final Strikeforce middleweight champion said he wanted a “warmup fight” before a potential UFC title fight and mentioned Vitor Belfort as his preferred opponent.

But Belfort, who recently joined MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com) to discuss their upcoming UFC on FX 8 headliner, had a surprising response to the Strikeforce import’s comments.

Did Belfort feel disrespected?

“Not at all,” he said. “I have all the respect for guys like him. He asked, and he received it. … I don’t pick fights. I accept fights. And he deserved it. I like his attitude. I see it as a positive. I don’t see it as personal. This is a job. This is what makes people interested in seeing us fight.”

Belfort (22-10 MMA, 11-6 UFC) and Rockhold (10-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) now headline UFC on FX 8, which takes place May 18 at Arena Jaragua in Jaragua do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil. The FX-televised fight marks Belfort’s third in Brazil since early 2012 and could set up a title shot for the winner.

While the middleweight division awaits the outcome of July’s UFC 162 headliner between champion Anderson Silva and challenger Chris Weidman, Belfort said he’s not personally dwelling on anything past the Rockhold fight.

“Tomorrow will take care of itself,” he said. “The key is to take care of today.”

That’s included a training camp with experts from all disciplines, including kickboxer Tyrone Spong and world-class wrestlers, and all weight classes. While once a mere boxer with exceptional raw power, Belfort has rounded out his game during a recent career resurgence. After all, after moving up a weight class, he nearly tapped out light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones with an armbar back in September.

Against Rockhold, who’s won nine straight fights, Belfort believes his new skills will be put to the test. And he likes his chances of picking up a ninth win in his past 11 fights.

“It’s a great fight with a great fighter, very well-rounded, great camp and has a lot of skills,” Belfort said. “It’s a good fit for me. I’m excited. It’s a good challenge for me. I’ve prepared myself, and now it’s getting closer.

“I’m not just getting prepared for Luke. I’m getting prepared to be the best I can be. That’s how I can give back to the fans, my family and to God for the gifts He gave me.”

The 36-year-old Brazilian said he’s now in the peak shape of his career. However, his resurgence has drawn a fair number of critics, most notably due to his long-suspected and recently confirmed use of testosterone-replacement therapy.

Belfort, though, said he simply avoids the negativity.

“The haters are always going to be around,” he said. “The key is to just don’t listen to it, to what people think, because it doesn’t change anything. You just have to stick to it. No sacrifice, no glory.”

He said that mentality and positivity – as well as his faith – will get him where he wants to be and satisfy the people who mean the most to him.

“The blood of Jesus washed me, cleansed me, healed me,” he said. “It gave me life. I have faith. The more people doubt me, the more the Spirit grows in me. It’s just the mindset that I have. I’m just focused.

“I’m not into impressing anybody. I don’t care about people’s opinions. To me it doesn’t change anything. What people think about me doesn’t make me who I am. What makes me who I am are the things I do and what I believe. The people who mean the most to me are already by my side.”

For the latest on UFC on FX 8, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie.com Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, MMAjunkie.com lead staff reporter John Morgan and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

view original article >>

Related News

  • 6 days ago
  • 24 views

UFC top middleweight Luke Rockhold has never been shy about his feelings about performance-enhancing drugs in MMA. Bleacher Report got a chance to chat with Rockhold and get his opinion on Vitor Belfort, PEDs and more. Check out why he has no respect for Belfort and why he thinks the Brazilian won’t even make it to his upcoming title fight with Chris Weidman at UFC 181.Read more MMA news on BleacherReport.com read news >>

  • 23 days ago
  • 47 views

Top-ranked middleweight contender Luke Rockhold has been cleared to resume training after recovering from a broken toe in his right foot, MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani reported on UFC Tonight. A former Strikeforce champion, Rockhold (12-2) suffered the injury midway through his dominant UFC 172 performance over Tim Boetsch, which he won in a little over two minutes via an inverted triangle/kimura. The 29-year-old AKA product is currently the No. 5 ranked middleweight in the UFC, and including read news >>

  • 22 days ago
  • 84 views

It's a Chris Weidman title fight, "The Phenom" rematch or bust, for the former Strikeforce middleweight champion. Despite pleas from his teammates to move on, Luke Rockhold just can't seem to get Vitor Belfort out of his mind, 14 months after getting knocked out by "The Phenom." Time and again, Rockhold has pleaded for a do-over against the Brazilian, though not much has come of it; as Belfort has bigger fish to fry in the form of a middleweight title fight. However, there is one thing that Luke read news >>

  • 2 days ago
  • 152 views

Luke Rockhold and other UFC fighters have criticized Vitor Belfort for testing positive in the first test he did outside of Brazil after a 3-0 run in 2013. Rockhold said Belfort’s "frail" body would fall apart before his title fight with Chris Weidman, scheduled for UFC 181 on Dec. 6, but "The Phenom" says they are all just jealous. "I think they are just afraid. I understand," Belfort said Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "That playboy is still in shock from the kick. He’s in shock. People are read news >>

  • 2 days ago
  • 15 views

Luke Rockhold said he would relish the chance to “shut his mouth and get paid for it,” referring to fellow 185-pounder Michael Bisping. What Rockhold really wants, though, is a shot at Vitor Belfort.Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

  • 5 days ago
  • 78 views

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- During a media scrum at UFC on FOX 12, Luke Rockhold talks about his back and forth with Michael Bisping on Twitter, staying ready in case Vitor Belfort gets injured before his upcoming title fight, his stance on cheaters in sports, and more. read news >>

  • 5 days ago
  • 314 views

Top Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender Luke Rockhold believes Vitor Belfort will never make it to his UFC 181 title fight against Chris Weidman, because "The Phenom's" frail body will fall apart after years of PED abuse. read news >>

  • 4 days ago
  • 63 views

Former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold is petitioning to fight Chris Weidman at UFC 181 on December 6. The fact that the perennial contender is already booked for that championship bout is inconsequential, at least according to Rockhold in his recent comments to Bloody Elbow. That licensing is questionable. Is the fact that he cried supposed to make us feel sorry that he's been a lifelong cheater? He's pretty much a pathological liar. He should really consider taking up acting. M read news >>

  • 2 days ago
  • 29 views

"Hey bro, the altitude is too high." Top Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender Luke Rockhold has been asking for a rematch against Vitor Belfort ever since "The Phenom" kicked his head into the stands at UFC on FX 8 in early 2013. That was one of three frightening knockouts landed during the TRT-tor era. Sorry/not sorry. While the Brazilian is currently focused on his UFC 181 title fight against Chris Weidman, which takes place this December on pay-per-view (PPV), he was gr read news >>