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Vitor Belfort: ‘My best is yet to come’

Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- Vitor Belfort needed three consecutive head kick knockouts to earn another shot at the UFC middleweight title, and he still has some new tricks to show.

UFC president Dana White announced that Belfort will likely return to the cage against the winner of Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva, and "The Phenom" won’t root for anyone at UFC 168, on Dec. 28.

"I’m just waiting for the winner," Belfort said. "I don’t create expectations because I can get frustrated in the end. I’ve earned my shot at the title and I will fight whoever wins this fight. I just want to get in there and hear them say ‘the new middleweight champion’. I have a goal. I will defeat the champion and get the title."

Belfort fought for the 185-pound title on February 2011, but was stopped by Silva with a front kick in the first round. A former teammate of "The Spider", Belfort has some advices for Weidman.

"Weidman can’t let Anderson play his game," he said. "Anderson is the type of fighter that will make you play his game, and Weidman needs to fight his fight. I will be watching this fight, and I don’t care who I’m fighting next.

"I’ll be even better when I return to the Octagon. I know it’s hard to believe that I can get even better than this, but I will. I’ve been training hard, and there are a lot of things that I haven’t done yet. My best is yet to come."

Belfort won’t let the fact that he lost to Silva change his mindset going into a new fight, in case Silva beats Weidman at UFC 168.

"It’s important that you accept the facts," he said. "He surprised me with a kick, and a true champion needs to accept what happened. We can’t control the results, but I can control what I will do about it. The last fight doesn’t mean that the next fight will end the same way."

Weidman could bring a new challenge to the table against Belfort, who hasn’t been taken down in any of his last wins. The Blackzilian fighter isn’t worried about the possibility of fighting Weidman on the ground, though.

"My ground game is getting better and better since I started training with Gilbert Burns," Belfort said. "And I don’t even need to talk about my wrestling since I’m working with the Michael Jordan of Wrestling, Kenny Monday. I’ve been working a lot in both areas."

Undefeated when fighting in Brazil, with recent wins over Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold and Dan Henderson, Belfort is confident that he will fight for the gold in front of his countrymen.

"This fight will be in a soccer stadium," he said. "Whoever wins, I’m sure we can sell out Maracana or any other soccer stadium in Brazil. It would be really interesting.

"I know the UFC will come up with the best idea. They are really focused in Brazil right now. Globo is offering great fights for the Brazilians. I just want to enjoy my training. I will train focused on both, and focused on working my abilities."

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