by Marcelo Alonso (firstname.lastname@example.org)
On the mend from shoulder surgery that took him out of a title shot against Anderson Silva at UFC 112 last April, Vitor Belfort said he’s primed for a return to the Octagon in October.
“My return to the ring has been defined by (UFC owner) Lorenzo (Fertitta),” Belfort said during an interview last week on Brazil’s most popular MMA program “Sensei Sport TV.” “He called me and wants me to be ready in October and I'll be ready by then.”
The former UFC light heavyweight champion also had choice words for Silva, who faces wrestler Chael Sonnen on August 17 at UFC 117 in Oakland, Calif.
"What bothered me about Anderson, and also bothered us all, was the lack of respect he had with the athlete and man inside the Octagon, talking dirty words, skipping, then kneeling to ask for forgiveness and then not wanting to apologize,” Belfort said of Silva’s unanimous decision victory over Demian Maia at UFC 112. “It was a controversy, people tried to tell him, but (his manager) Ed Soares translated incorrectly. What bothers me is that I had great affection for him when I knew him. Now he is not the same as before.”
The 33-year-old Belfort, who has back-to-back first-round finishes over Matt Lindland and Rich Franklin, said he’s using his recovery time to come back an elite fighter. Belfort said he has his one-time teammate Silva, also touted for his striking skills, in his sights.
"Everybody wants this fight. I think it will be the fight of the century,” said Belfort. “It is a much anticipated fight and has to happen. It didn’t happen, but now it has to happen more than ever. Now, I'm more determined. I really want this fight. Before they put this fight on me, but now I want it. Now it’s my challenge and it will come.”