A report out of Brazil suggests that Brazilian MMA legends Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort will clash for a second time in the main event of UFC 197 in Rio De Janeiro next March.
There’s no official confirmation of the story, which came from Journal O Globo, but it’s a fight that UFC color commentator Joe Rogan had been calling for on a podcast with Dana White last week, and the UFC President hadn’t disagreed, stating, “I don’t disagree. We’re working on it.”
Silva and Belfort previously fought at UFC 126 in 2011 in a highly publicized grudge match-up that Silva ended up winning in spectacular fashion via a front kick to the head in the first round.
After that Silva would win a few more fights before his long unbeaten run came to an end courtesy of back-to-back losses to Chris Weidman, the second of which would leave him with a badly broken leg that threatened to end his career.
Over a year later he returned against Nick Diaz and won via unanimous decision, but the result was overturned to a no-contest ruling after it emerged Silva had tested positive for two different anabolic steroids.
As for Belfort, racking up a couple of wins following his loss to Silva led to a light-heavyweight title shot against Jon Jones, but he was defeated by submission. Refocusing on the middleweight division he then launched an impressive three-fight winning streak, all by knockout due to head kicks.
Like Silva, Belfort’s reputation then took a hit due to performance enhancing drugs, first backing out of a title fight when Testosterone Replacement Therapy was banned, then news emerging that he had in fact failed a random drug test due to elevated levels of Testosterone.
A year and a half later he returned to finally fight for the title, suffering a first round TKO loss to Chris Weidman, but he’s since bounced back with a first round KO win in a rematch with Dan Henderson.
Belfort is believed to be keen to avenge his loss to Silva, but it’s not known whether ‘The Spider’, who’s now turned 40 years-old, is as keen to revisit the fight that sent his popularity into overdrive in his native Brazil over four years ago.