UFC Quick Quote: Vitor Belfort says 'politics,' not 'merit,' qualifies No. 1 title shot contenders

Chris Trotman

If Michael Bisping defeats Vitor Belfort in the UFC on FX 7 main event at the Ibirapuera Arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil, this weekend (Sat., Jan. 19, 2013) he is guaranteed a middleweight title shot. The same, however, cannot be said for the "Phenom" if he emerges victorious.

"There's not much I can say about what qualifies you for a shot at the title in the UFC. It hasn't been happening much by merit, but by politics. I can't answer you that. The one who can is Dana White. I just do my job, which is to fight and win. My right is to train and represent my country."

-- Whoa, whoa, whoa! Vitor Belfort -- the same Middleweight who was recently awarded a Light Heavyweight title shot opposite Jon Jones (see why here) -- recently told Brazil's O Dia newspaper (via ESPN.co.uk) that "politics" have recently been to blame for recent Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) championship opportunities. Belfort is likely a little tweaked because UFC President Dana White recently assured his upcoming opponent at UFC on FX 7, Michael Bisping, that he would earn a future date with UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva if he could topple the Brazilian at the Ibirapuera Arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Jan. 19, 2013. However, Belfort -- who failed fast (less than four minutes) when he had his chance to fight Silva less than two years ago at UFC 126 -- won't be afforded the same opportunity. Why? It's probably got much to do with his previous loss to the "Spider," as well as his failed bid in a division 20 pounds heavier 18 months later. That's right, Belfort earned a second title shot with back-to-back wins over an undersized Yoshihiro Akiyama and a bloated Anthony Johnson. Not necessarily the kind of "merit" that most mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters could pass off as viable enough to contend for a belt. But, then again, maybe that's just "politics."

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