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Dana White Says Vitor Belfort is Next In Line to Face Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva Winner

Posted on by Jeff Cain

36-Vitor-Belfort-UFC126w_5168-478x270A rematch between middleweight champion Chris Weidman and former titleholder Anderson Silva headlines this weekend’s UFC 168 fight card in Las Vegas, and a No. 1 contender waits to face the winner.

During Thursday’s UFC 168 pre-fight press conference at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, UFC president Dana White said Vitor Belfort is next in line.

“Yeah, I think Vitor has earned the right to face whoever the winner is,” said White. “Vitor has been out there fighting, taking on all comers. Yeah, he’s next in line; no doubt about it.”

Belfort (24-10) has had a stellar 2013 and is certainly a candidate for Fighter of the Year. In January, he knocked out Michael Bisping in the second round with a head kick and follow-up punches. In May, he logged another highlight reel knockout over former Strikeforce champion Luke Rockhold. On Nov. 9, Belfort became the first fighter to knock out former two-division Pride champion Dan Henderson.

The Weidman vs. Silva rematch is expected to be the organization’s biggest pay-per-view event of the year, and a trilogy could be even bigger. That possibility is the one thing that could interfere with Belfort receiving the next shot at the middleweight crown.

“Anything’s possible. I would never say no, but if they go in and it’s a decisive win like the last fight was, Vitor is next,” said White following the press conference.

If Silva wins on Saturday, a bout with Belfort will be a rematch. The two met at UFC 126 in February 2011. Silva knocked Belfort out in the opening round after landing a front kick to his face. It was the first time Belfort had been rendered unconscious in his 17-year fighting career.

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  • bajafox

    If Weidman wins again it wouldn’t be fair for the champ to have to fight in Brazil which means Vitor would have to get cleared to fight in the states

    • Maddawgmar

      He hasn’t fought in the US since August 2011. Coincidence, I don’t think so. Matter of fact the only fight since then that wasn’t in Brazil was against Jones. I think if Anderson wins then the fight will be in Brazil. But if I were Weidman and won, I’d demand the fight be in the US.

      • Paulie Vegas

        He hasn’t fought in Las Vegas because the NSAC refuses to grant him a TRT exemption due to his past steroid use. There are probably jurisdictions in the US that would grant him one, but it’s so much easier and draws a huge crowd to just have him fight in Brazil.

        I don’t think he’s clean either, he’s getting bigger, better, and stronger at an age when he should be declining. I also don’t believe Weidman should have to travel to Brazil, and I would applaud him if he flat-out tells Dana no, that he is the champ and should not have to fight in Vitor’s backyard (especially for the reasons he would have to).

        I have had my doubts that the UFC is interested in running a clean sport but now I’m nearly confident they don’t.

    • Usmc8408

      People will defintiely be paying close attention to Vitor if he has to fight in the U.S. I’ll be curious to see if he looks like Overeem his first fight back after he “cleaned up.” I try to stay away from the whole TRT debate because I know very little about sports science, but something just doesn’t seem right with Vitor. Maybe I’m wrong, but I just don’t think he’s clean, and only fighting in Brazil makes him more suspect. I agree, it’s Weidman’s right to fight here if he wins…but we’ll see how the politics play out if the time comes.

  • JDMMA

    Weidman vs Vitor should take place in NJ… close to Weidman’s home

  • fsunoles10

    i dont really think it matters who he fights, if he looks the same as he has the past few fights against either one he is gonna brutalize them. his fight against hendo was genuinely scarey.