Top ranked Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender, Vitor Belfort made it almost excruciatingly clear that his only interest is to fight for UFC gold against Chris Weidman for his next bout.
Once "The All-American" was injured and forced to pull out of the Belfort fight yet again, UFC brass tried to get "The Phenom" to accept a short notice interim title fight against Lyoto Machida, which he and his team declined.
Only a day later, Belfort's wife noted on Instagram that her husband would have fought Yoel Romero for the interim belt at UFC 184, but once talks fell through, she noted the Blackzilians product will be waiting to fight Weidman in May.
Today, news has broken that Belfort has turned down yet another potential opponent in No. 7 ranked contender Gegard Mousasi. "The Dreamcatcher" has been campaigning for the Belfort fight on Twitter since Weidman's injury announcement, but it seems he too will not get a crack at "The Phenom."
Mousasi, who is fresh off his complete destruction of mixed martial arts (MMA) legend Dan Henderson back at UFC on FOX 14 (highlights here), recently spoke to FOX Sports, explaining the situation and admitting he understands why Belfort turned down the bout.
"I was planning on going on holiday, but the UFC called me and asked me 'would you like to fight Vitor Belfort?' and I said I had to talk to my coaches because I didn't want to have that burn out feeling again of fighting just because you have a fight. I really wanted to take my rest, but after talking with my coaches and it was such a big opportunity and I was in the mood to fight. Then I said yes, but it wasn't like I challenged him. The UFC asked me to fight and I said okay I'm going to take the fight. (Lyoto) Machida was first and I was plan B, but Vitor said no to both."
"He's going for the belt, that's his main focus, he wants to have that achievement. That's his goal I believe. I understand he doesn't want to risk it. He doesn't want to risk losing and losing his title shot. It's a risk and at this point in his career, he doesn't need to take the risk. I can't blame him. I met him, I even trained with him once. It's not personal. They offered me the fight and I said yes. I've got nothing against him."
Classy stuff from Mousasi there, but do you agree with him? Should Belfort be allowed to wait on the sidelines, or should the top ranked contender fight for the interim title at UFC 184?
For now the UFC women's bantamweight title fight between Ronda Rousey and Cat Zingano will remain as the main event bout for the February pay-per-view (PPV) in Los Angeles, California.
See the reworked UFC 184 fight card and line up here.