It took a win at 205 pounds, but Vitor Belfort has finally earned another shot at the middleweight championship.
At the UFC Fight Night 32 post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White revealed Belfort will be the next title challenger in the 185-pound weight class. As is the case any time a title shot is guaranteed, that comes with the condition that no significant injuries occur, but Belfort should meet the winner of the UFC 168 bout between champion Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva.
Dana says that barring injury or something crazy, Vitor will next fight the winner of Weidman/Silva 2.— UFC News (@UFCNews) November 10, 2013
Since losing to Jon Jones in a light heavyweight championship fight, Belfort has earned three straight knockout wins. In addition to Dan Henderson, Belfort also stopped Top 10 middleweights Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold.
On Saturday, Belfort dropped Henderson with a left uppercut and finished the American off with a head kick in under two minutes. The owner of one of the best chins in MMA history, Henderson's loss to Belfort at UFC Fight Night 32 marked his first ever knockout loss.
Overall, Belfort has won his past five middleweight bouts. The most recent loss Belfort suffered at 185 pounds came against Silva in February 2011.
Among middleweight contenders, Belfort is currently only ranked behind Silva. It's very possible Silva will retire should he lose to Weidman at UFC 168, though, so Belfort could be ranked No. 1 among 185-pound title hopefuls soon.
Weidman and Silva are scheduled to meet in Las Vegas in December. In all likelihood, Belfort will be in attendance at UFC 168 and would be the most interested spectator of all.