No. 1-ranked Middleweight title contender Vitor Belfort is on different level.
So different, in fact, then when asked about his thoughts on the devastating leg injury (see pic here) that Anderson Silva suffered last night (Sat., Dec. 28, 2013) in the main event of UFC 168 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, "The Phenom" glossed over the question and, instead, talked about his championship mission ... and jungle ... and other odd things.
Check out the full transcript from his post-fight interview with FOX Sports 1:
"It's sad, it's sad the way it ended. We are all athletes, we all know how hard it is for us. How hard it is for what we go through. But, it's part of the job. I'm focused on my mission. When I was 19 years old, man, and I came into this crowd and saw all this -- when I was 19, fighting two guys on the same night and winning the title … they didn't have a weight division. Then, to go back and win the title, and now to face young guys like Chris Weidman, getting my Middleweight belt, that's about making history. That's what this is about. Focus. We have a mission and we are about to accomplish the mission…. I was just focused on who is going to be the next guy in my jungle. That belt belongs to me. I'm focused and I'm motivated … bringing experience into the cage. That's what it's all about…. I'm ready tomorrow, I'm ready today. I'm ready to get in the cage today -- get my cup, get my mouthpiece. I'm ready to go. In my jungle I am undefeated. That jungle belongs to me, so … I'm a lion, I'm unpredictable. Come into the cage with me and you know what you are going to face. And you know I'm looking for the finish. That's what it's all about. The biggest battle is in the mind and I'm enjoying what I'm doing right now. It's a joy for me."
Belfort, of course, is now set to face Chris Weidman, who successfully defended his 185-pound title thanks to dominant first round over "The Spider" and, of course, the freak injury that occurred in round two (watch full fight video highlights here).
It's a position that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White has admitted that Belfort has earned. That's because since losing to Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones at UFC 152, Vitor Belfort has gone on a tear, dropping back down to Middleweight and racking up three straight impressive knockout victories inside the Octagon.
But, what's more impressive, is that he did against top tier talent as he flattened Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold and Dan Henderson.
"Yeah, I think Vitor has earned the right to face whoever the winner is. Vitor has been out there fighting, taking on all comers," said White just before the year-end pay-per-view (PPV) event. "Yeah, he's next in line ... no doubt about it."
For those keeping count, Belfort has actually won five straight at 185 pounds, one of them being a catch-weight fight against Anthony Johnson at UFC 142. Prior to that, the Brazilian bomber blitzed through Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 133, his first win after getting knocked out by the aforementioned Silva at UFC 126 in their title fight.
Perhaps that's the reason Belfort preferred to talk about himself last night rather than his fallen countrymen.