After losing a one-sided unanimous decision to nemesis Chael Sonnen at Bellator NYC this past June, mixed martial arts (MMA) legend Wanderlei Silva is already looking to knock off another rival. This time around, “Axe Murderer” is taking aim at fellow Brazilian veteran Vitor Belfort, who currently competes in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Remember, Silva and Belfort first met back at UFC Brazil (or UFC 17.5) in 1998, which saw “Phenom” absolutely destroy Silva via first-round knockout in just 44 seconds. The two were scheduled to rematch at UFC 147 back in 2012, but Belfort had to withdraw from the main event bout after breaking his left hand in training.
“It would be great news if Vitor came to Bellator,” Wanderlei recently told Luta Livre. “I really hope he does. Bellator will create the masters weight class, only for legends.
“Everyone could see he got lucky in the first fight. I didn’t really analyze my opponent’s game plans back then. If you remove that from the equation, I’m sure I can beat Vitor up. So demand that I be the one to welcome him into Bellator. I will beat you up.”
Silva, 41, has fought just once in the past four years, while Belfort, 40, has fought some of the best of the best in the UFC’s middleweight division during that time. Considering Belfort’s level of success and overall activity, it’s safe to say “Phenom” is at a different, and more competitive, stage in his career than “Axe Murderer.”
That said, Belfort’s time in UFC is starting to wind down. The legendary knockout artist has only defeated Nate Marquardt and Dan Henderson since 2013 and has dropped all three of his recent defeats by way of knockout. Another loss or two could ultimately lead to a healthy separation between Belfort and UFC.
If that’s the case, Bellator would be stupid not to welcome “Phenom” with open arms. And considering Silva, who remains a solid draw for the promotion, is ready and willing to rematch one of the most dangerous knockout artists of all time, Bellator would have to jump at the opportunity.
Belfort recently reported that he signed to fight Uriah Hall on Jan. 14 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on one of UFC’s upcoming FOX Sports 1 cards, while Silva hasn’t scheduled his return to the cage after his loss to Sonnen earlier this year.