Vitor Belfort says 'earned' next UFC middleweight title shot through hard work, 'shocking' main event performances

Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Vitor Belfort says fighters have to earn, not talk about, world mixed martial arts (MMA) title shots inside the Octagon.

In case you didn't know, Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen have something in common.

Their previous two losses have come to arguably the top two pound-for-pound mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters in the world in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

But, that's where their similarities stop.

When it comes to earning and receiving world title shots, Sonnen has parlayed his quick wit and gift of gab into dreams of gold, getting the chance to face "Bones" at UFC 159 fresh of his loss to "The Spider" eight months prior at UFC 148.

Belfort, meanwhile, chooses to play the silent warrior role, letting his actions inside the Octagon speak for him. And if his last two knockout performances against Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold are any indication, the actions of "The Phenom" aren't politely requesting another title shot, but flat out demanding one.

It's that "shocking" success, and hard work, that that will eventually lead the Brazilian brawler back to a world title shot (via USA Today):

"I don't think it's time to ask; I think it's time to earn. That's my ethic in life. Life is about earning. Sometimes in life, you look at very rich guys who have been given everything, and they wind up crashing. They lose their family's fortune. They didn't know how to keep it because they didn't earn it. That's how I go through life. I go to the gym every day. I work hard. I know I will bring that title back. But, it's not about waiting for the time. It's about making my time now."

After besting Rockhold and Bisping in 185-pound action, Belfort remained silent, refusing to call out Silva for a rematch, leaving many in the MMA community puzzled.

It was apparently a conscious decision:

"Everyone is about fighting for the title, and they want to get themselves there by selling fights, picking fights, talking trash on Twitter. I'm not saying they're wrong. It's a style. I'm not criticizing or judging them, because I don't have that right. But, I have the right to work hard and to ask people to recognize that work. That's the way I want to get to the top, and I believe I made it. I believe I've done everything necessary."

But. don't think for a second Belfort isn't one to seize an opportunity when he sees one.

Prior to UFC 152, when 205-pound contenders were too busy acting like "divas," Belfort stepped up, made his voice heard and offered up his services to go up a to a weight class to take on Jones in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

While he came up short to "Bones" in the world title fight, Belfort is still the leading candidate to receive the next title shot against the winner of Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva at UFC 162 because he has won four straight at Middleweight.

He's just quietly awaiting work from UFC executives:

"Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta, they are promoters, and I respect them very much. Right now, I haven't heard from them, and I don't know what's going on, but I've served the organization very well. I'm fighting in main events, winning fights, shocking everybody. I'm right there, and they know that. Now it's just waiting to see if I've done enough. You cannot go against results, so look at my results. That's what I mean. Some people earn, and some people don't. They try to get there without earning it. I believe in every area of my life, I earn ... and I earn through the glory of God."

And contrary to popular opinion, the fact that Belfort is going through a career resurrection of sorts has nothing to do with the fact that he's on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).

Consider the silent source.

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