Vitor Belfort is desperately holding out for a crack at the winner of the championship rematch between Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman. If Silva has his way, though, Belfort is going to have to keep waiting for his next shot at the belt.
Speaking with SporTV, Silva gave a matter-of-fact response to the idea of fighting Belfort.
"I don't think so," Silva said (as translated by MMAFighting). "What was supposed to be done was done. Of course, we are employees of the UFC, but I don't like to fight against Brazilians. I don't see that possibility."
Weidman likely just gained at least one more fan.
Silva fought Belfort once before, back at UFC 126. That fight, which ended with a much-imitated front-kick knockout, remains one of the biggest highlights of Silva's career and is one of the biggest highlights of modern UFC history. Even so, the statement from Silva sheds a little bit of light on past spotty performances.
Silva has fought Brazilians just three times in his UFC career. The first two fights, against Thales Leites and Demian Maia, drew massive levels of criticism for Silva's reluctance to engage after establishing a lead in strikes. The third, against Belfort, was rife with pre-fight tension between the two.
In spite of Silva's reluctance, Belfort has a very strong resume put together for a title shot. Since UFC 126, Belfort is 4-0 at middleweight (he had a one-and-done 205-pound fight with Jon Jones at UFC 152). All those victories, which came over Yoshihiro Akiyama, Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, Luke Rockhold and Michael Bisping, were finishes.
At the moment, there are few top Brazilian middleweights, which gives Silva plenty of options should he regain the belt.