Vitor Belfort to Anthony Johnson: 'That Cage Belongs to Me'

Mike HodgesCorrespondent IJanuary 12, 2012

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It's very rare that mixed martial artists get the opportunity to grace the Octagon in their home country. 

Vitor Belfort is one of those few fighters who is seemingly thriving in that opportunity.

The Brazilian will meet Anthony Johnson in the co-main event at UFC 142 this weekend. When he was first presented with the possibility of facing Johnson, Belfort immediately jumped on the idea and accepted the bout. 

“I’m not a picky fighter like ‘oh no I don’t want this.’ I think of it like this, I’ve been in this sport for so long, I know so many managers, promoters, fighters, they have a way to do business," Belfort said during an interview on MMAWeekly Radio. "If they think this is a good fight to the UFC, then it’s a good fight for Vitor.”

"The Phenom" is hoping to earn his second consecutive win as he prepares to fight in his hometown of Rio de Janeiro. Belfort is recently coming off an impressive knockout victory over Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 133 last August. 

Belfort has worked hard at his training and prepared very seriously for his bout against Johnson, who will be making his middleweight debut. When analyzing his opponent, Belfort said he didn't find many weaknesses in Johnson. However he is looking forward to facing him on Saturday night. 

"He doesn’t have very solid jiu-jitsu, but he’s a pretty tough wrestler. He likes to kick, he likes to trade, so we’ll see. It’s going to be a great matchup," he said. 

And although he might not be able to pinpoint many holes in his games, Belfort said he respects every opponent he faces regardless of their abilities. 

“I don’t take things easy. I don’t underestimate anyone. He’s strong, he has skills, the best way to respect him, to show him respect," he said. "I respect him, but on that day the cage belongs to me so that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to earn it.”