clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

'Jacare' Souza's manager: Vitor Belfort should not be picking and choosing opponents

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Since Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion Chris Weidman was forced to withdraw from his scheduled title defense against No. 1 contender Vitor Belfort at UFC 184, "The Phenom" has subsequently rejected interim title bouts against Lyoto Machida and Gegard Mousasi.

Belfort has noted that he wants to fight only for the undisputed title, and he will be waiting to fight Weidman in May. Fellow top-ranked middleweight Ronaldo Souza's manager, Gilbert Faria is not exactly delighted to hear that Belfort is picking and choosing his opponents.

From MMAFighting:

"As a MMA fan and a fan of Vitor Belfort, I would like to see this fight between Weidman and Belfort. With Weidman's injury and the fact that we don't know when he's going to be able to return, it's the right decision to create an interim title. If Vitor doesn't want to fight or wants to pick opponents, he loses his right to fight for the interim title."

"If we look at the rankings, ‘Jacare' is the next in line for the title. He can fight Lyoto Machida, Luke Rockhold, Yoel Romero, or even Belfort for the interim title, and then wait for Weidman. Belfort is picking opponents, and that's not what champions do. That's wrong. And it's also wrong to stop the whole division."

"Jacare" was initially scheduled to face off against fellow top-ranked middleweight Yoel Romero at UFC 184, in what many considered a No. 1 contender bout, but pneumonia caused the former Strikeforce champion to withdraw from the fight.

According to his manager, Souza will be available to fight in April, and he has already begun training once again.

As for his comments on Belfort, Faria makes some valid points, but he is neglecting the fact that Belfort has trained solely to face off against Chris Weidman, and taking an interim title fight against a completely different style of fighter in just under a month's notice is certainly a risk.

That is the exact sentiment Belfort and his coaches shared earlier this week when explaining why they rejected the Machida bout.

So, do you think UFC should strip Belfort of his chances to fight for the interim belt, or allow him to hold off until Weidman is healthy?

See the reworked UFC 184 fight card and line up here.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania