Once again, Michael Bisping was only one win away from receiving a title shot, and was determined to defeat Vitor Belfort. Unfortunately for Bisping, Belfort had other plans for the direction of the fight, and landed a perfectly placed head kick that dropped the Count to the canvas. Belfort made sure Bisping wouldn’t recover as the phenom smothered him with punches until the ref had no choice but to intervene. It’s unlikely that the UFC will yield to Belfort’s request to rematch Jon Jones, so the question remains, who’s next for Belfort?
After his win over Mark Munoz, many fans, analysts, media staff saw Chris Weidman as the unofficial number one contender. Unfortunately for him, he was sidelined due to injury before his scheduled bout with Tim Boetsch, which could’ve possibly solidified his spot for the next crack at Anderson Silva. A match between Belfort and Weidman is sensible seeing that Weidman may be the only fighter that could possibly be ranked higher than Belfort. However the earliest Weidman can make his return to the octagon is early summer, so timing may be an issue if Belfort wishes to stay active.
As the man who took Chris Weidman’s place in his bout with Tim Boetsch and won, Costa Philippou is now among the elite of the middleweight division. It wouldn’t be too obscure to think that his victory over Boetsch sets up a possible bout with Belfort. Being a fellow boxing style fighter, a bout between the two of them would make for an exciting stand up war. This fight could help Belfort keep a consistent win streak, or Philippou will be rapidly climbing the ranks.
Yushin Okami would be a suitable opponent for Belfort, as the Japanese powerhouse is coming off a decisive win over Alan Belcher. Belfort and Okami were slated to fight each other at UFC 122, however Belfort was pulled from the fight to replace Chael Sonnen in a title fight with Anderson Silva, when controversy over Sonnen’s elevated testosterone levels arose. This was a fight that was supposed to happen, but never came through. This alone will make Belfort vs. Okami an intriguing fight.
Before UFC on FX 7 took place, Dana White established that even though a win for Bisping would be rewarded with a title shot, Belfort wouldn’t be extended the same courtesy. The first and only question that comes to mind, is why? Bisping, Tim Boetsch, and Alan Belcher, were all nearing a title fight if they were to win the next bout, but all three fighters were defeated. Why can Cain Velasquez rematch Junior dos Santos after one win over Antonio Silva, but Belfort can’t rematch Anderson Silva even after finishing Yoshihiro Akiyama, Anthony Johnson, and Michael Bisping? As of now, there’s no clear number one contender, so I say why not give Belfort a fight with Anderson Silva?
- Ryan “Fight Freek” Poli