Dana White Confirms Vitor Belfort Shot Down Lyoto Machida Title Fight

February 1, 2015
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Vitor Belfort wants an interim UFC middleweight title shot. Or wait a minute, maybe he doesn’t.

UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman on Friday had to pull out of his next title defense due to injury. He was supposed to put his belt on the line against Belfort at UFC 184 on Feb. 28 in Los Angeles. A rib injury suffered earlier this week in training derailed him.

> SEE ALSO: Chris Weidman Injured; Ronda Rousey vs. Cat Zingano Headlines UFC 184

Following Saturday night’s UFC 183, company president Dana White said that after Weidman dropped out, Belfort and his wife, who also serves as his manager, had been “blowing up his phone” asking for a interim title fight.

Vitor BelfortWhite said he offered Belfort what he wanted, but that he then had a change of heart.

“Vitor Belfort and his wife are blowing me up, asking for an interim title fight,” White recounted on the UFC 183 Postfight Show on FOX Sports 1.

“I pulled together this fight. I called Lyoto Machida; Lyoto Machida said, ‘send me the bout agreement.’ Called Vitor back; he didn’t think that was a great idea. So he’s gonna wait.”

White said he was surprised at Belfort’s reaction in turning down the Machida fight, but he hasn’t given up hope of keeping him on the UFC 184 fight card yet.

“We’ve got another fight we’re offering him right now,” he added.

White didn’t reveal what fight was being offered or whether or not it was still going to be for an interim title, but Gegard Mousasi did offer his services earlier in the day, saying he’d gladly step in to keep Belfort on the card.

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  • joe

    Well we all know it is Anderson Silva after tonight. I though the fight with Diaz could of gone either way. To say I was surprised he was given all 5 rounds is an understatement. Never the less I wouldn’t mind seeing an interm title fight until the champ returns. So who deserves it more? I say give Belfort Souza and let give Silva Mousasi at a later card. Then Belfort v. Souza winner gets Weidman and the winner of that can get Silva or Mousasi.

    • UfcUltimateFloorCuddling

      Anderson i doubt will take it. Hes at the crossroad of fighting or not. In my opinion it makes more since to stripped wiedman of the title. Have 2 fighters fight for it.. when the champion come back.. he get a immediate title shot.

      Having an interm title means crap anyways you are still fighting the champion for it.

  • MikeMck83

    Ken, you may want to check whether the machida fight was really going to be for the interim title. Dana said vitor asked for an interim title fight, and he did say vitor turned down machida, but at both the fox interview, and the post fight press conference he didn’t actually say machida would have been a title fight. I can understand the confusion though.

    • MikeMcK83

      During the the interview Dana referenced telling vitor that Weidman likely won’t be out long enough for an interim title, but you guys may have heard something I didnt.

  • steve

    Strip Chris of the title.. That’s stupid. Champs have been out a lot longer and have not been stripped

  • Timothy Malone

    You can’t blame Belfort for turning down Machida. It is a fight he would have lost.

    • mmafanguy

      Hard to tell. I give him more chance to beat Machida than weidman. Vitor weakness still is his takedown defense.

      • Guest

        his takedown defense is fine, its his cardio after the first two rounds that weakens him.

    • Groinstrike

      Oh I think Belfort would destroy Machida. I was disappointed to see him turn it down but I understand the reasoning. He’s been training for a completely different style of fighter.

      • Matt Sharrett

        How would he destroy Machida? He is half the size he was before TRT was banned and he has got nothing for Machida i the striking game.

        • Lyoto’smom

          Groinstrike is a noob. The only Vitor he’s seen is the post UFC return Vitor at 185.

          Hardcore fans know Vitor’s limits. Not doubting his talent. He is good. But he is not on Lyoto’s level.

  • TheCerealKiller

    For all of you saying to strip him of his title, that would make the belt a joke and irrelevant. Machida already lost to the champ, so giving him a shot at a vacant title is plain stupid. Wait and see how long Weidman will be out.

    • Guest

      weidman was meant to fight at ufc 178 but suffered an injury, then he was meant to fight at ufc184 but suffered another injury. he deserves to be stripped of the belt for being an inactive champion, just like cain velasquez.

      • TheCerealKiller

        Cain wasn’t stripped of his title, they made an interim. Weidman fought 7 months ago, unlike Cain that’s been out since Oct 2013. Guest comment is guest.

        • Groinstrike

          The problem with Weidman is we don’t know when he will be back. If he needs 3 months to heal, then another 3 or 4 to be ready for a fight (with the possibility of being injured again) he will go at the very least 1 year without a fight. The UFC needs it’s champions to fight at least every 6 – 8 months.

  • Matt Sharrett

    No TRT no hope