If it seems like forever now, that Vitor Belfort’s been next in line to fight Chris Weidman, it’s because by MMA standards, it kind of has been…
If you recall, it was over a year ago now when Belfort bombed out Dan Henderson at a UFC Fight Night card in Brazil to record his third straight, stoppage win, and entrench himself as the middleweight division’s #1 contender (yes, even if he was formally ranked #1). Then Belfort flunked a drug test, Weidman broke his hand, and yadda, yadda, yadda, they’re scheduled to fight on February 28th.
So, by the time they fight, Weidman-Belfort will have been in the works for over a year.
Now, over this time, Weidman has made it pretty clear that he doesn’t care for Belfort, who has become a polarizing figure to say the least, due to his well documented issues with testosterone-replacement-therapy. None of this, of course, was helped by the recent revelation that Belfort had yet to be drug tested, despite the Nevada Commission’s earlier pledge to do so on a regular basis. After the news surfaced, however, Belfort was finally randomly tested in Florida.
So, considering all that’s gone down in the last year, it’s not surprising to hear that Weidman’s still pretty concerned that the fight will get sidelined again. While speaking at the UFC’s media day earlier this week, the middleweight champ stated (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“I’m worried about whether he’s going to get drug tested, then when I found out he did, I’m crapping my pants the past two weeks, hoping he’s still fighting me,” Weidman said. “That’s the guy I want to fight. That’s what the fight we’ve been talking about for a year now. That’s the fight I want. I’ll be disgusted if something happens.”
“When it was first lined up, I had a feeling it wasn’t going to happen,” Weidman said. “I had a feeling something bad would happen. It was around the time of the whole TRT thing. I never really got too excited about the fight. Then after the [Lyoto] Machida fight, I started thinking about him again.”
It’s definitely a fight that warrants plenty of knocking on wood, while talking about the possibility of further delays. Whether you like Belfort or not, it’s going to be fascinating to see how he performs now that his TRT days are apparently over.
That highly anticipated fight will go down February 28th at UFC 184, which will be hosted by the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey is also scheduled to fight Cat Zingano that same night.