MENU
#Conor McGregor #Dynasty of Heroes #Fight One #UFC 211 #Ramsey Nijem #Julian Lane #Justin Buchholz #Nate Diaz #Ben Askren #Jon Jones #Angela Lee #Duane Ludwig #Diaz vs. McGregor 2 #Shinya Aoki #Cat Zingano


vitor-belfort-29.jpg(This story first appeared in today’s USA TODAY.)

GOIANIA, Brazil – It may seem odd that the UFC’s next middleweight title challenger could be determined in a light-heavyweight contest, but for Brazilian slugger Vitor Belfort, it’s very much a reality.

It’s just a reality he doesn’t want to discuss until after Saturday night.

“I’m so happy just to be able to go into this fight so focused,” Belfort told USA TODAY Sports. “I’m looking forward to fighting one of the greatest fighters of all time, Dan Henderson, so that’s my focus right now.”

Belfort (23-10 MMA, 12-6 UFC) and Henderson (29-10 MMA, 6-4 UFC) meet in the headlining contest of Saturday’s “UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson” (FOX Sports 1, 8 p.m. ET), which takes place at Brazil’s Goiania Arena.

UFC President Dana White recently revealed that a Belfort win would earn him the title shot for which he has long lobbied. On the other hand, despite the fight taking place at 205 pounds, a loss to Henderson – a man who possesses knockout power capable of ending most fighters’ nights in a single blow – would take Belfort out of immediate title contention.

Belfort said the risk is worth the reward.

“You’re remembered for your last fight, so some people are afraid of taking a risk,” Belfort said. “Everything is a risk in life. We have to go out and risk in order to win.”

Middleweight champion Chris Weidman (10-0 MMA, 6-0) faces the man he beat for the belt, Anderson Silva (33-5 MMA, 16-1 UFC), in main event of UFC 168 next month. Should Belfort win on Saturday, especially in impressive fashion, he’s expected to get a shot at the winner and a chance to avenge a failed 2011 bid for the 185-pound title.

There is, however, one caveat. “The Phenom” is one of a handful of fighters who have been approved by the sport’s governing athletic commissions for a therapeutic-use exemption for testosterone-replacement therapy – an increasingly common procedure in the U.S., but one that can be easily abused if athletes are not thoroughly monitored. (Henderson is also utilizing the treatment.)

While Belfort has had little trouble getting approval for the process in his native Brazil, Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer has previously stated he’s not so sure the 36-year-old would enjoy the same privilege in Las Vegas, frequent home to many of the UFC’s biggest fights.

Belfort, who at one time avoided discussion of the topic, has begun to talk about his treatment in detail of late, and he remains confident his doctor-ordered plan is carefully monitored and should not be viewed as cheating.

“I’m so open right now,” Belfort said. “I have nothing to hide. I’m just being truthful, so it’s good.”

Belfort’s credentials are well established. At 9-2 in his past 11 contests, his only losses in the past six years are to top pound-for-pound fighters Silva and Jon Jones. In 2013 alone, he’s registered highlight-reel knockouts of Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold, who he beat with a spinning back kick he said he envisioned in a dream before the fight.

Now, the reality of what lies ahead is clear. Win, and another crack at UFC gold is in the cards. Lose, and he’ll go to the back of an increasingly long line that features top contenders like Lyoto Machida and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. Belfort said he again envisions his path to success.

“But some dreams you cannot share,” Belfort said. “Let’s make it happen first.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 32, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Vitor Belfort joins Montreal's Tristar Gym ahead of final octagon bout at UFC 212

  • 18 days ago
  • 19 views

Vitor Belfort is doing things a little bit differently ahead of what he’s decided will be the final fight of his UFC career next month at UFC 212.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Vitor Belfort vs. Nate Marquardt Official for UFC 212 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 25 days ago
  • 4 views

Vitor Belfort's final fight inside the Octagon will be against former Strikeforce champion Nate Marquardt at UFC 212. read news >>

Vitor Belfort Reportedly Facing Nate Marquardt at UFC 212 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 8 views

Vitor Belfort is expected to face Nate Marquardt at UFC 212 in what may be the final fight of his career. read news >>

Report: Once more unto the breach for Vitor Belfort, 'Phenom' gets Nate Marquardt at UFC 212

  • 27 days ago
  • 18 views

At 40, and reportedly on the final fight of his current UFC deal, it appears Vitor Belfort will step into the cage one more time in his native Brazil. Belfort (25-14 MMA, 14-10 UFC) appears to be hea read news >>

Vitor Belfort Reveals UFC Retirement Plan | MMAWeekly.com

  • 26 days ago
  • 17 views

Vitor Belfort has unveiled his UFC retirement plan, putting the wraps on a career that has spanned more than two decades. read news >>

Belfort vs. Marquardt official, 'The Phenom' confirms UFC 212 will be his final octagon appearance

  • 25 days ago
  • 31 views

At 40 years old, Vitor Belfort is preparing to make his 25th and final trip to the UFC’s famed octagon.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Vitor Belfort Not Retiring, Plans to Compete After UFC Contract Ends | MMAWeekly.com

  • 4 days ago
  • 8 views

Vitor Belfort initially planned to retire following his UFC 212 bout against Nate Marquardt in June, but those plans have changed. read news >>

Could Vitor Belfort Be Headed to Bellator After Final UFC Fight? | MMAWeekly.com

  • 2 days ago
  • 8 views

Instead of retirement after UFC 212, might Vitor Belfort be heading for fights with Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen? read news >>

Kelvin Gastelum Responds After UFC Suspension, Vitor Belfort Win Overturned

  • 19 days ago
  • 60 views

UFC star Kelvin Gastelum has vowed never to fight in Brazil again in response to a 90-day ban handed out by the Brazilian MMA Sports Court after a positive drugs test for marijuana. Gastelum did acce read news >>

Ex-champ Anderson Silva says he's off UFC 212 lineup

  • 19 days ago
  • 32 views

Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva says he’s no longer part of the UFC 212 card in Rio de Janeiro.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>