Photo Credit: UFC/Zuffa
Vitor Belfort is done with Michael Bisping, and now he wants another shot at Jon Jones.
Just minutes after defeating Bisping with a high kick followed by vicious ground-and-pound in the UFC on FX 7 headliner, Belfort took the mic in his post-fight interview and issued out a challenge to the UFC's reigning light heavyweight champion:
Let me fight Jon Jones. Chael Sonnen! (Unintelligible grunting) Get out! Dana, Lorenzo, kick him out! Let me fight Jon Jones! I need that rematch. Get that clown away. Go home! Quit the reality show! Go home! Let me fight the real champion! Champion against champion! Not that clown!
Belfort is just a single fight removed from his last bout with Jones, which ended in a one-sided fourth-round loss by a keylock submission at UFC 152.
However, Belfort nearly won the fight in the first round.
In an incredibly close struggle that came down to mere inches, Belfort snatched an armbar against the long-limbed Jones, precariously holding a tight submission attempt that nearly broke the champion's arm at the elbow. Barely holding on, a panicked Jones managed to escape the hold and proceeded to control the rest of the fight.
Jones was quick with his response on Twitter, laughing off Belfort's words:
Lol — Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) January 20, 2013
Chael Sonnen, the next contender for Jones' title, also commented on the challenge, with the UFC speaking on his behalf via Twitter:
Chael to Vitor: "You've been telling the world you want to meet Jesus and I am happy to arrange that travel." Jon's next, but "I accept" — UFC (@ufc) January 20, 2013
Although Belfort currently fights in the middleweight division, he temporarily moved up a weight class to challenge Jones after UFC 151 was canceled due to an injury to Dan Henderson.
Jones also played a (major) part in the card's complete dissolution, denying Sonnen as a late replacement and dropping out of the event entirely.
Belfort currently stands as the only fighter to come close to defeating Jones in the UFC, save for Jones' disqualification loss against Matt Hamill back in December 2009
Regardless of whether or not the UFC grants Belfort's request, Jones will still have to defeat Sonnen at UFC 159 in April. But before that comes to pass, both men will watch along with the world as their respective The Ultimate Fighter teams face off on FX during the show's 17th season, which starts in just a few days on Jan. 22.