"Spectacular" is an understatement when discussing Vitor Belfort's current destruction of top-level UFC talent.
From brutally welcoming Luke Rockhold to the middleweight division to handing the legendary Dan Henderson his first career knockout Saturday night in Brazil, "The Phenom" is arguably better than ever.
However, while his torrid pace as of late garners immediate title consideration, the ginormous speculation surrounding his well-known use of TRT suggests that more than just talent might be fueling his revived career.
But until speculation becomes fact, nothing can stop Belfort. Title shot or not, here are three fights he should entertain next after dismantling the formidable "Hendo."
As hot as Belfort has been, Souza has been just as hot. Granted, not many of his recent wins have come against elite UFC competition, but the Brazilian has been so dominant that it doesn't matter.
Not to take anything away from Belfort's destructive reign of late, but Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold and Henderson aren't Chris Weidman, Anderson Silva or Lyoto Machida. They just aren't on the same level.
That means that a victory over a guy like "Jacare" would solidify the 36-year-old as the division's next chosen one.
It would also serve as an opportunity for the UFC to showcase Souza to fans who may not be familiar with his overall work.
Winner of Lyoto Machida vs. Gegard Mousasi
As new to the division as Machida is and as overlooked as Mousasi is, fighting either one of them would push Belfort toward a title shot.
It's difficult to pinpoint who would have the upper hand. Belfort is so brutally offensive, and Machida is a calm and calculated tactician, but it's a tremendous fight nonetheless.
Of course, if this fight were to happen, the UFC would have to shelve Belfort until at least May 2014. That's a long break for a revitalized aging vet.
Winner of Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva
If Belfort is going to get the next middleweight title shot, then let the party begin.
Ever since Silva landed that infamous front heel kick to the face of The Phenom back in 2011, fans have been awaiting the rematch. They want to see two of Brazil's most decorated fighters of all time once again lock horns.
Now I'm sure Belfort doesn't mind fighting a wrestler from New York compared to a fellow Brazilian as long as he's getting a chance to hoist UFC gold, but it isn't up to him.
At this point, it's up to Dana White and Joe Silva to decide if Belfort's three-fight win streak is good enough to beat out guys like Souza, Machida and Mousasi.
And who's to say the UFC doesn't give Weidman a rematch with Silva if the former champ reclaims his throne? Who wouldn't want to see that trilogy?
Either way, Belfort deserves ultimate recognition, and a future title shot against December's victor wouldn't surprise anyone.
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