According to the Brazilian site Combate.com, Vitor Belfort has refused the fight against Tim Kennedy announced earlier by the UFC. His wife and manager, Joanna Prado, told Ivan Raupp from Combate.com that fighting a lower-ranked fighter at Middleweight doesn't make sense to Vitor's career.
Below is the quote from Prado in the story and its translation:
- Não faz sentido o Vitor, que é o numero 1 do ranking, lutar contra o número 2, número 6 ou número 10 da categoria. A próxima luta dele na categoria dos médios será contra o vencedor de Chris Weidman x Anderson Silva.
It doesn't make sense for Vitor, who is the number-one-ranked fighter, to fight the number 2, number 6, or number 10 in the division. His next fight at Middleweight will be against the winner of Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva.
Prado also said that Vitor will fight anyone in a heavier division, including Kennedy and Roy Nelson at Heavyweight, sending a message to the UFC that he is not refusing to fight, but that he won't fight at Middleweight unless it is a title bout. She continued:
O Vitor quer lutar, mas na categoria dele só se for a disputa de cinturão.
Vitor wants to fight, but in his division, only if it is for the belt.
Dokkodo's take: Although it makes perfect sense for Vitor to either force the UFC to give him a title fight at MW or a warm-up bout at LHW, it leaves a shadow of entitlement and a little hypocrisy in the air when he was at the receiving end when the UFC ignored rankings to give him two title shots before.
The full report by Raupp can be found at Combate.com (http://sportv.globo.com/site/combate/noticia/2013/07/belfort-recusa-enfrentar-kennedy-nos-medios-na-categoria-so-pelo-titulo.html).