Esther Lin for MMA Fighting
While it's unlikely Vitor Belfort will get another crack at the UFC light heavyweight strap, he won't be denied a shot at the promotion's middleweight title (and a chance to avenge a loss to Anderson Silva) if he can manage to 'knock off' a few more contenders.
Vitor Belfort made a triumphant return to the 185-pound division last weekend (Jan 19, 2013), knocking off Michael Bisping from the top off the contenders list at UFC on FX 7 in Sao Paolo, Brazil, delivering a nasty head kick to "The Count's" dome and forcing a referee stoppage after some ground-and-pound follow up.
The win marked his third in his last four fights since losing to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion Anderson Silva back in 2011, with one of those being a catchweight fight of 197-pounds against Anthony Johnson at UFC 142 due to "Rumble's" weight-cutting issues.
According to UFC President Dana White's comments at a recent media scrum, he won't be able to deny Belfort another shot at "The Spider's" strap should he "knock off" a couple more contenders in the division.
"He knocks off a couple more of those guys that are contenders, like, let's say we did Vitor vs. Hector Lombard or if he knocked off another guy, you know, it gets to the point where you have to give Vitor another shot."
Perhaps if the former Bellator champ proves victorious over "Thunder" in "The Land of the Rising Sun," a number one contender's fight between two of the most powerful punchers in the division would be in order.
Does a potential bangfest between Belfort and Lombard do anything for you? And would a rematch between "The Phenom" and "The Spider" produce different results than those of their initial encounter at UFC 126?