In a recent interview Wanderlei Silva was somewhat critical of Vitor Belfort’s mental game, stating his belief that his fellow Brazilian was, “scared” to fight current middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

Certainly there have been times in the past when even Belfort himself has admitted that he’s not been as mentally focused as he should be going into major fights, but his coach Shawn Tompkins denies that this is the case leading up to the two fighter’s title fight in February of next year.

“I can’t really question what Wanderlei Silva thinks, he’s Wanderlei Silva. If that’s how he feels, that’s how he feels,” Tomkins tells MMAPrime.TV. “To me though that’s something you would say if you don’t know something else to say. You know, Vitor’s been great for his last five or six bouts. His mind has been strong, he’s been knocking everybody out in the first round so I don’t know how you could say that.”

Belfort himself has a less diplomatic reply to Wanderlei’s criticism.

“He has a big mouth,” is Belfort’s verdict.

“It’s just a spectator’s opinion. Spectators can say whatever they want. He just wanted to get some attention for himself. I don’t take it seriously.”

Ironically Belfort holds a memorable win over Wanderlei Silva dating all the way back to UFC: Brazil in 1998 when a flurry of strikes felled ‘The Axe Murderer’ in under a minute.

There’s now considerable momentum building for a rematch at some stage in the near future, and even Shawn Tompkins believes it’s likely to happen.

“Well I think all of us would love to see it.  It’s a pretty damn exciting fight to ask for.  I know both the guys very closely and I don’t think either one of them would say no to to the bout.”

Watch Tompkins full interview with Aaron Tru below.