Report: Vitor Belfort and Lyoto Machida May Fight in Brazil This November

Feb 23, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Lyoto Machida (red gloves) enters the ring to fight Dan Henderson (not pictured) during the UFC welterweight bout at the Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
John HeinisSenior Analyst IAugust 13, 2013

Looks like perennial 185-pound contender Vitor Belfort has finally found a fight that peaks his interest, outside of a middleweight title bout. 

"The Phenom" is currently in negotiations to fight another ex-UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida, at a November 9 event set to take place in Goiania, Brazil, according to Globo's Combate.com (via Bloody Elbow). 

The report comes roughly two weeks after Belfort's manager/wife, Joana Prado, said the hard-hitting Brazilian wasn't making the cut to middleweight unless the title was on the line (via MMA Junkie). 

However, Belfort remained open to light heavyweight, heavyweight or catchweight match ups, as it looks like a potential showdown with Chael Sonnen fell on deaf ears (via MMA Mania). 

Belfort is 4-1 in his past five fights, with his sole loss coming on a short-notice 205-pound title fight against Jon Jones at UFC 152 in September. 

He could face an interesting challenger in Lyoto Machida, who defeated two high-ranked opponents in Ryan Bader and Dan Henderson decisively after getting soundly beat by Jones at UFC 140 in December 2011. 

"The Dragon" looked to be on the short list of title contenders with a win over Phil Davis at UFC 163 earlier this month, however, Davis won a highly-debated unanimous decision. 

While Davis did score late takedowns in the first two rounds, showcasing improved striking, Machida landed the harder strikes and defended eight other takedowns throughout the contest. 

The majority of MMA media outlets scored the fight for Machida, most of which scoring the contest 30-27 in his favor, with FightMetric supporting the notion that Davis should've come up short. 

While his unofficial scorecard, of course, has no impact on the outcome of any given bout, UFC President Dana White supported the notion that Machida won all three rounds of the contest. 

Should this light heavyweight tilt come to fruition, it would be Belfort's third straight Octagon appearance in front of his Brazilian home crowd.

This would inevitably draw a lot of negative feedback from fans as the 36-year-old fight veteran is a known user of testosterone replacement therapy. 

According to the UFC's official rankings, Belfort and Machida are ranked number 2 in their respective weight classes. 


John Heinis is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA Editor for eDraft.com

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