Vitor Belfort may have been taken out by now former champ Chris Weidman last May, but the middleweight contender says a win over “Jacare” Souza next month, should propel him to another title fight.
Belfort and Souza are set to fight in the co-headliner of UFC 198, which will take place on May 14th in Curitiba, Brazil. Belfort is coming off a stoppage win over Dan Henderson and is ranked #3. Souza, meanwhile, lost via split decision to Yoel Romero in his last fight and is ranked #2.
The promotion held a press conference recently to promote the upcoming card, and during the event, Belfort had this to say (quote via MMA Junkie.com):
“I’m sure that the winner of this fight deserves to fight for the belt,” Belfort said. “Something that’s given can be taken away, but something that’s conquered, nobody can take away. ‘Jacare’ and I deserve it. It’s a matter of training and focusing on this fight and destiny is made today, so we’ve got to focus on today.”
Now Belfort critics / haters may disagree with the future hall of famer here, and will point to his aforementioned loss to Weidman, since it wasn’t long ago. But really? Belfort is probably right.
If he goes out and defeats Souza, who has lost just once since 2011, then Belfort will likely get tapped for the shot. Most definitely if Luke Rockhold defeats Weidman in June, and retains the belt. After all, Rockhold has repeatedly said he wants to avenge his loss to Belfort, and Rockhold – Belfort II would be huge.
Belfort’s title shot is also very likely considering as it stands right now, we don’t know when Romero will be back, due to the potential anti-doping violation he’s been flagged for. First things first, however, and Belfort needs to get by Souza. That’s not going to be easy.