clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Vitor Belfort explains why he turned down an interim title fight with Lyoto Machida

New, comments
Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

The UFC was willing to create an interim middleweight title after Chris Weidman pulled out from a UFC 184 bout with Vitor Belfort due to an injury, but the Brazilian declined to face Lyoto Machida on Feb. 28.

On his Facebook page, "The Phenom" explained his decision, saying he would agree to fight Machida or anyone else if the UFC strips Weidman of his title.

About the cancellation of my UFC 184 fight.

I would like to say that, as everyone else, I’m very disappointed with all this situation.

For exactly one year, I have seen my dream to make history in UFC with my 3rd world title in a different weight category postponed.

Here are some facts:

- UFC had to reschedule the middleweight world title content 3 times because of my opponent’s injuries (from May/14 to July/14- Weidman had a knee surgery, from December/14 to February/15 - Weidman had his hand broken, from February/15 to probably May/15- Weidman had his ribs hurt)

- MY FOCUS WAS ALWAYS THE MIDDLEWEIGHT BELT AND I CLIMBED THE LADDER TO ACHIEVE MY POSITION.

- This is why I won't fight for an interim, but if UFC gives 8 weeks and the middleweight Belt available for dispute I fight with anyone from the ranking. Not for an Interim, But the Middleweight Belt!

- I’ve been in this sport for 19 years and I have never let UFC down.

- I accepted to fight for the Light Heavyweight Belt right after my sister got kidnapped and I still won the world championship.

- I offered myself to fight in the UFC 152 against Jon Jones with less than 8 weeks to prepare myself to the bout and I had exactly the same injury my opponent has now and still I stepped up to the fight.

I would like to thank UFC, the press and fans support, always.

Focused on the Middleweight Belt!

The UFC has yet to announce a new date for Weidman's return.