The gauntlet has been thrown down and a date with Jesus has been set ... maybe.
While Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight contender Vitor Belfort is unwilling to fight Tim Kennedy or anyone else at 185 pounds unless it’s the champion (read explanation here), there is one fight "The Phenom" is down to accept.
And that would be against none other than longtime rival Chael Sonnen.
According to a report from Ariel Helwani on Tuesday’s (July 30, 2013) edition of FUEL TV’s "UFC Tonight," Belfort would "love to fight" Sonnen next, just as long as it’s not a Middleweight bout. Sonnen, who was on hand as one of the hosts of "UFC Tonight," said a fight against Belfort interests him immensely for UFC 168 on Dec. 28, 2013; however, there’s a catch to the situation.
The former three-time UFC title challenger, who said last week he plans to return to 185 pounds following his fight with Mauricio Rua at UFC Fight Night 26 on Aug. 16, 2013, wants Belfort to put his No. 1 contenders status on the line in Las Vegas, Nevada, Indeed, Sonnen (and perhaps only Sonnen) feels it's only fair the winner faces the division champion who emerges victorious from the UFC 168 main event between Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva.
It's unlikely that UFC President Dana White and Co. would agree to those unofficial terms; however, Sonnen is allegedly "the biggest draw in the sport" and has a knack for attracting championship opportunities.
Regardless, Belfort and Sonnen have a long history of disdain for each other, dating back several years, but unfortunately the stars have never aligned for them to face each other. There’s no better time than the present, and if Sonnen can get past "Shogun" next month -- or even if he can't -- a fight against Belfort would be a tremendous addition to UFC’s blockbuster year-end pay-per-view (PPV) extravaganza.
For more news and notes regarding UFC 168: "Silva vs. Weidman 2" be sure to check out our complete event archive right here.