Apparently both Lyoto Machida and Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua turned down the chance to fight Jon Jones at UFC 152 on September 22nd, but their loss is Vitor Belfort’s gain and he can’t wait to test himself against one of the world’s best fighters.
“I just finished the call with my boss @lorenzofertitta and @danawhite. I want to thank both for putting me in where a lot of guys are acting like divas,” told his fans on Twitter after learning that he would be fighting Jones for the title.
“I think this is a big challenge for any fighter that is alive in the game. I thank God to provide me with this Blessing 2 fight the youngest champion. We will face each other. I have all the respect for Jones, thats why u can`t miss this competition a vintage and hi-tech fight. Glory to Jesus. Also happy for all the fans – I will not let no one down. I come from the times of #carlsongracie. He live inside of me I learn so much things with him and #alstankie.” (Spelling corrected for clarity)
Belfort has only four weeks to train for the fight, but on the bright side he was already preparing for a bout with Alan Belcher at UFC 143 on October 13th, so it works out quite well and he won’t have to worry about cutting too much weight now since the fight will be contested at 205lbs.
By the time fight night arrives it’ll have been five years to the day since Belfort last competed at light-heavyweight, but it’s a weight he’s well accustomed to, having defeated Randy Couture to become the UFC’s 205lb champion all the way back at UFC 46 in 2004.
Some of Belfort’s highest profile losses have come in the light-heavyweight division though, being defeated by some of the sports biggest stars like Chuck Liddell, Dan Henderson, Alistair Overeem and Tito Ortiz.
That may be why, despite Belfort producing a more consistent winning record in recent years fighting at 185lbs, that the bookmakers have installed Jones as a 13-1 favorite to win the fight.