UFC middleweights Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva fought once way back in 1998 the last time the UFC was in Brazil. Belfort KO'd Silva in 0:44 of the first round. Since then both men have gone on to legendary careers. Silva was the long time Pride middleweight (205lbs) champion and Belfort briefly held the UFC light heavyweight belt.
Recently there had been some talk of the two re-matching at UFC Rio in August but that has come to naught.
While talking to Tatame.com, Vitor shared his thoughts on Wanderlei challenging him through Tatame itself and then backing out through Twitter to challenge Chris Leben instead:
Yeah my friend, so what you gonna do, right? The tongue is a man’s whip and he needs to learn to speak less and fight more. But anyways, what you gonna do? That’s life brother, I don’t care about that, I am focused on my next challenge. I don’t care about names, I don’t choose my opponents, my focus is always my next fight, regardless of who that may be.
For me it’s cool, I don’t live life in the expectations of men, [I live life] in the expectations of God, life is like that. Sometimes we lose, the unforeseen happens and we need to be ready and trained, because we cannot guarantee the results. I am the type of guy that will follow through with what I say, I’m not a man who says one thing and don't do it.
While Dana has since gone on record stating Wanderlei had ultimately accepted the fight with Belfort, and that it was the UFC's decision to go ahead with the Chris Leben fight, there’s no question that Wanderlei was hesitant to accept a fight with Belfort at first.
Vitor, a native of Rio de Janeiro, also shared his thoughts on the UFC Rio card coming up in August:
That’s all I want. That’s my dream, to be able to fight in Rio de Janeiro, in my country. Fighting for my people has always been my dream. Since I was one of the pioneers of the sport in my country, it would be a sort of reward for everything I’ve done for the sport.