"If you want to fight Vitor Belfort, you have to earn it. It's just like if you want to play someone in the quarter- or semi-finals, you cannot just because you won something a long time ago. No, you have to earn your spot. I don't like it how people are using Twitter trying [to make their own fights]. I want to fight for the belt -- that's my goal. That's the goal of a fighter, that's the goal of an athlete in the UFC. That's the goal of Vitor Belfort -- I'm a winner, I'm a champion. That's what I want, that's what I'm fighting for. I've been proving, I've been earning, so the only thing I see next for me is fights that will bring me up…. This is division [is full] of great athletes. If Mousasi wants to fight someone, go fight Luke Rockhold, go fight Michael Bisping. He has to prove himself, that's how it is in this sport [or any other], you have to earn it. If you want something, earn it, and I did."
-- Vitor Belfort has done nothing but deliver "shocking main event performances" since a technical knockout loss to UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva back in 2011, finishing Anthony Johnson and Yoshihiro Akiyama, and more recently, Luke Rockhold and Michael Bisping, to warrant considerable rematch consideration if "The Spider" can topple Chris Weidman at UFC 162 next month. "The Phenom" has even garnered "unofficial" recognition as the "Best Fighter" under Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) umbrella midway through the 2013 mixed martial arts (MMA) season. It's the kind of momentum -- and accomplishment -- that the Brazilian does not want to risk with a match against a competitor who is not ranked (or as established) in the upper echelon of the 185-pound division such as Gegard Mousasi. "Dream Catcher" -- a former DREAM and Strikeforce champion -- has seemingly been obsessed with Belfort since his name was allegedly among the short list of opponents willing to step up for the injured Alexander Gustafsson at UFC on Fuel TV 9 back in April 2013. Belfort apparently passed, while unknown Ilir Latifi did not, getting outpointed by the Armenian in an uninspired (and injured) effort. Mousasi called out Belfort after his sensational knockout win over Rockhold (more here) and then suggested a permanent move from Light Heavyweight to compete against a "big name" like Belfort. Unfortunately for Mousasi, at least according to Belfort, it's going to take more than one listless win inside the Octagon against a no-name to "earn" the right to leap-frog right into the Middleweight semifinals No. 1 title contender tournament that doesn't exist. Indeed, he'll have to "prove himself," according to Belfort (via Sherdog.com), or just be in the right place at the right time. A location, and opportunistic circumstances, with which Vitor Belfort is all too familiar.