Photo by Esther Lin for MMA Fighting.
With the recent turmoil caused by the cancellation of UFC 151, many interesting things have occurred. Through a series of odd circumstances, Vitor Belfort, nearly a seventeen year veteran of MMA, has risen up as the unlikely challenger to Jon Jones' light heavyweight title. Vitor was thrusted into the spotlight out of no where, but the veteran and former champion is happy to have this opportunity given to him, and he'll be looking to make the most of it when he and Jones meet at UFC 152.
Last night, Belfort talked to Kenny Florian on UFC Tonight about his opportunity. As usual, he had little bad to say about his opponent, but he was ecstatic about his opportunity to fight for another title. Here's his take:
I'm so thankful for Lorenzo and Dana to trust, and give me the opportunity. In a weight division that I'm not fighting in anymore, but I have history, so I think I have rights to go and fulfill that part, to fill the replacement. I have history behind it, I think it's gonna be great.
Then, Vitor went on to talk about how lucky he is to be from the "older generation" and to still be fighting one of the best young fighters out there:
I come from the generation of Tank Abbott, Dan Severn, Mark Coleman, Royce Gracie. That generation that I'm from. So, how many guys, from my generation, are still surfing that wave? And here I am, 35 years old, seventeen years of career, fighting the best fighter of all time, in the history of the UFC. A guy who is the best athlete of MMA, he's the new breed. And I have a lot of respect for the guy, but I will be ready to put up a fight and bring that competition to a high level.
I've trained my whole entire life. You know, when people get ready, now it's that thing about 'oh I need three months, I need four months, I need seven months.' You know, when I was injured, I was training with my lead hand, I was biking. So every day, the way I live life is to to train and that's who I am.
Then, Vitor sums up the rest of his ideas:
One thing I've got, is I want to finish strong, and I think I have some gas in my tank. So, I'm facing the champ, the best fighter ever in UFC history, the new breed. So, I'm just very honored to to fight a guy like Jon Jones, to have that privilege, as an old school fighter, to fight this new breed. I like challenges, and this is one more challenge in my life. I will write my name in history right now doing this. Because I have one opportunity, that nobody from my time has, so I'm gonna blast man, I'm gonna go full blast. I'm gonna go with joy, with respect, and I'm gonna be so happy in the octagon when that bell rings, that I'm gonna fight like I've never fought in my life.
Clearly, Vitor believes he is ready to take on the huge challenge in Jon Jones. Though some say he doesn't have all too good of a chance at winning, Vitor will almost definitely bring forth his A-game and be ready for a fight.
Video of Belfort's appearance on UFC Tonight after the jump.
UFC 152 takes place on September 22nd at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is headlined by a light heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Vitor Belfort. In the co-main event, the first ever UFC flyweight champion will be decided as Joseph Benavidez and Demetrius Johnson fight for the vacant title.