With Vitor Belfort pulling out of his title fight with Chris Weidman and being replaced by talented striker Lyoto Machida, now may be the time for ‘The Phenom’ to receive a rematch of a highly memorable fight.
That fight in question was his last shot at the UFC middleweight title at UFC 126, a highly anticipated fight with then-champion Anderson Silva. The build-up to the fight was excellent, with a shove at the weigh-in and Silva wearing a mask for the face-off. So, is now the time to book a rematch between the two?
Silva is coming off the first two UFC losses in his long career inside the Octagon, which ended a long title run including ten title defences, and he won a staggering 16 in a row for the greatest promotion in the world. Chris Weidman ended that all at UFC 162, and did the same thing at UFC 168, though some fans still question both fights. The first involved Silva using less-than sensible tactics, flashily strutting around the cage with his arms down using primarily head movement to avoid Weidman’s attacks. Silva was caught, and it was lights out.
The second fight ended in Silva getting his leg seriously broken due to a checked leg kick, albeit Weidman had the Brazilian hurt for the most part of the first round and dominated the former champ. Now rehabbing the injury, ‘The Spider’ could be ready by the end of this year, with him already training the grappling aspects as well as some light stand-up work. Pretty phenomenal for a man who broke his leg in devastating fashion just over two months prior.
Belfort, meanwhile, may have a long wait of his own before he is to step inside the cage again. After pulling out of UFC 173 due to the effects of the NSAC banning TRT, the Brazilian will have to slowly come off the treatment in order to compete again. Therefore, Belfort may need a warm-up fight – like Silva – before challenging for the title again.
My solution is, put Belfort against Silva by the end of the year so both can come back from big setbacks. In the meantime, Machida will face Weidman for the belt, and the winner will face Jacare.
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