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Dana White confirms Vitor Belfort turned down interim title fight against Lyoto Machida

Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Vitor Belfort was set to face Chris Weidman at UFC 184 on February 28th for the UFC middleweight title, but as it was reported Friday, that main event is off as Weidman has suffered an injury in training.

As it turns out, the UFC attempted to fill in the missing slot by giving Vitor Belfort an interim title fight only for Belfort to decline it once he discovered the specifics of the offer. Combate was the first to report the news.

"Vitor Belfort and his wife were blowing me up, asking me for an interim title fight. My thoughts were, he's not going to be out that long to make it an interim title fight," UFC President Dana White told the panel on the UFC 183 Fox Sports 1 post-fight show.

"So, I pulled together this fight. I called Lyoto Machida. Lyoto Machida said send me the bout agreement. Called Vitor back and Vitor didn't think that was a great idea.

"He's going to wait," White said.

When asked by UFC broadcaster if Belfort's decision to decline the bout surprised him, White was characteristically candid.

"Yeah, it surprised me a lot," he said. "Especially with all the calls and texts I was getting. Yeah, it did."

White did not mention any specifics at the UFC 183 post-fight press conference, but said they were still attempting to find a replacement fight for Belfort.

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