Photo of Vitor Belfort by Esther Lin for MMA Fighting
Mark it down!
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight number one contender Chael Sonnen doesn't think Vitor Belfort will show up for the UFC 152 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Sept. 22, 2012 from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Must be all those past injuries.
"The Phenom" (via Sherdog.com) insists he will be in his "best shape" when he takes on reigning UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones, who will give the Brazilian striker a crack at the crown after Dan Henderson bowed out of the UFC 151 event last month due to injury.
Those comments after the jump.
"He’s a great opponent. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be the champion. Fighting at a high level motivates me a lot, as I’ve always tried to do it in my career. I expect a tough fight, but I’ll be in my best shape. You can mark it down. I changed my training camp to the Jaco Hybrid Training Center, and I’m now training with the Blackzilians. The team has fighters of the highest caliber, like Rashad Evans and Alistair Overeem. It is a very serious team, with a working philosophy that has pleased me very much. A professional fighter cannot reach his maximum potential by training only what he knows. He must be with a team that will help him think, create alternatives and improve his technique. I made a good choice when I entered this camp."
Belfort was supposed to rematch Wanderlei Silva at UFC 147 after serving as coach on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil," but a hand injury and surgery to repair it forced his exit. He has reeled off two consecutive wins since losing to Anderson Silva at UFC 126 early last year, finishing an undersized Yoshihiro Akiyama and a bloated Anthony Johnson.
Enter Alan Belcher.
"The Talent" was gearing up for a shot at the former Brazilian champion at UFC 153 in Rio, but Belfort dumped him like an ugly girlfriend once a better option came along. His withdrawal was called a blessing in disguise, as Belcher was going to pull out anyway after fracturing his spine.
Hopefully it's not contagious.