Vitor Belfort continued his impressive run of recent finishes by stopping Dan Henderson via strikes in the main event of last night's (Sat., Nov. 9, 2013) UFC Fight Night 32 show in Goiania, Brazil, on Fox Sports 1 (watch the knockout by clicking here). It was the first time in 39 career fights "Hendo" had been finished in such a manner.
It was also the third fight in a row "The Phenom" finished with a head kick knockout.
One would think that's enough to earn him a title shot and sure enough, UFC President Dana White was hinting at as much at the post-fight press conference:
"You've got the Chris Weidman-Anderson Silva rematch. That has to happen, but yeah, Vitor Belfort. Weidman, Silva, Machida, there's a lot of big fights out there for Vitor Belfort. ... There's nothing but big fights for Vitor. Imagine if we do Anderson Silva vs. Vitor belfort again? You can do that in a soccer stadium here."
Notice Lyoto Machida's name slyly dropped in there? That wasn't an accident. White would also go on to say the following:
"You never know what happens here. That Weidman-Silva fight happens, someone gets hurt and they've sidelined, you just never know what's going to happen."
For his part, Machida has already expressly stated his desire to fight Belfort next. These were his comments following his first round head kick knockout victory over Mark Munoz just two weeks ago:
"Vitor Belfort is the best option for me right now. I want to fight him. It would be the best fight for me right now because he's well ranked in the middleweight division. No hard feelings, I'm thinking what's best for my career and where I can get with a win. Even if Vitor loses to Dan Henderson, I'd want to fight him in our weight class."
Don't forget that White also said he wanted to put that fight together.
But what about Belfort? Well, he's holding firm in his desire to wait for the winner of the Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva fight at UFC 168 on Dec. 28 in Las Vegas:
"I'm looking forward now for the winner of Anderson Silva and Weidman. Dana is the one who will make the call and I just gotta be ready. I told them I'll be ready."
Things change, and fast, so none of this is set in stone, but this story should get real interesting, real fast.