Coming off of his big win over Michael Bisping at UFC on FX 7, Vitor Belfort was hoping to score a championship fight.
On Feb. 4, MMA Junkie reported that Belfort was looking for a rematch with light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
“I deserve the [Jones] rematch, so that’s the fight I’m looking for," he explained.
If the stars didn't align for Belfort, he was at least hoping to land a rematch with middleweight deity Anderson Silva.
"If I'm in the 185 division, I beat the second [ranked] guy, I earned that place," he explained while presenting his case for a title shot.
But as it turns out, according to MMA Junkie, Belfort's next bout will not be for UFC gold. It will, however, come against a champion of sorts, namely Luke Rockhold, the last Strikeforce middleweight titleholder.
While it isn't precisely what Belfort wanted, the pairing does make for a high-profile contest that will have serious title implications. In fact, it's entirely possible that the victor is next in line for a shot at Silva's strap.
What's more is that the fight will take place in Brazil, Belfort's home country. All in all, a solid consolation for "The Phenom."
For Rockhold, an American, the booking means debuting with the UFC in hostile territory. The former Strikeforce champ will enter the promotion as a consensus top-10 fighter, and one on the shortlist to contest for the middleweight title, but he will have to overcome a tough challenge right off the bat in order to realize that opportunity.
The date and venue of the match are to be determined.