Vitor Belfort began campaigning for a shot at the winner of the UFC 162 main event championship battle between Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman well before Weidman pulled off the upset on July 6 in Las Vegas.
He’s been tweeting. He’s been texting UFC president Dana White. He’s been pleading his case to anyone and everyone that would listen.
And after Weidman won, he stepped up his lobbying efforts.
“@ChrisWeidmanUFC Congratulations, you are the new champion,” he tweeted immediately after the fight. “Next challenger is me!”
@ChrisWeidmanUFC Congratulations, you are the new champion. Next challenger is me! Lets do it
— Vitor Belfort (@vitorbelfort) July 7, 2013
Belfort lost to Anderson Silva at UFC 126 in August of 2011, but has been stellar ever since, save for an unexpected shot at UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, whom he nearly upset via armbar at UFC 152.
Outside of the losses to Silva and Jones, Belfort hasn’t lost to another fighter since Dan Henderson in 2006. In his two fights since losing to Jones, he knocked out Michael Bisping and outgoing Strikeforce champion Luke Rockhold, two of the top middleweight contenders.
White, however, on Saturday announced that Silva and Weidman had signed bout agreements to meet in a rematch at UFC 168 on Dec. 28 in Las Vegas.
Even before that, the company president was steadfast that Belfort was going to have to wait for another shot at the belt.
“Anderson Silva has gone undefeated since 2006. He’s beat everybody and held the title. He deserved the rematch before he even fought (Weidman),” explained White following the UFC 162 post-fight press conference.
“Vitor is just gonna have to wait. He’s not getting the rematch,” he continued.
“He can text, he can tweet, he can write (expletive) letters, he can call his congressman. He can do whatever he wants to do; he’s gonna have to wait. Anderson Silva is getting the rematch.”
And so it came to fruition on Saturday when White announced the rematch, and Anderson Silva put out a message of his own confirming the fight, saying, “I back, trust me, I back.”