Vitor Belfort is one fight removed from a technical knockout loss to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion Chris Weidman, and more than two years past his blistering, first-round spinning heel kick knockout win over Luke Rockhold.
Rockhold, who is expected to receive an "All American" title fight later this year, has called out the Brazilian numerous times during that span for his past use of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). Is he just acting like a sore loser?
Belfort thinks he has the answer.
"I don't have any animosity, he does," Belfort told BJ Penn.com. "I think that spinning head kick got to his head. I don't have anything against anybody. I want to fight the best guys, like I always did. I want to finish my legacy in the sport, fighting the best."
Indeed, "The Phenom" has done just that.
The 38-year-old Brazilian's mixed martial arts (MMA) run reads like a laundry list of star power in the sport. From Alistair Overeem to Dan Henderson, as well as former pound-for-pound superstar Jon Jones, one cannot deny that Belfort has seen his fair share of elite cage competition.
Rockhold, meanwhile, tore through a few 185-pound contenders since his fateful debut in UFC. The American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) product finished each of his next four opponents, including the likes of Michael Bisping and former 205-pound champion Lyoto Machida.
Belfort's title shot came more than a year late after he was originally scheduled to face Weidman at UFC 173 in Feb. of 2013; however, that never tussle never came to be, due to the Nevada Athletic Commission axing TRT exemptions, thus forcing Belfort to be pulled from the fight.
Currently ranked as the No. 4 middleweight in the world, Belfort did not lose much ground in the division coming off his Weidman loss. Though he would be best suited to get himself into the Octagon as quickly as he can, because father time is catching up to him.
There are a couple of names that stand out as suitable opponents for Belfort: Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida.
"Hendo" declared his desire for a rematch of their Nov. 2013 bout, but it would have to take place somewhere besides Brazil. "The Dragon" is an interesting match up between two completely different strikers, and the former is also coming off a knockout loss (courtesy of Yoel Romero).
Another name is former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi, who is 4-2 during his UFC tenure and is facing Roan Carneiro in September. Mousasi called Belfort out following the latter's title loss.
Regardless of opponent, and whoever the champion is, Belfort will take his time and earn another title shot.
"I think it's going to be tough," said Belfort. "Let's see. Let me do my thing, and let me work to get the winner. Let me do my thing."