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Report: Vitor Belfort turned down interim title fight against Lyoto Machida at UFC 184

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Vitor Belfort justified his refusal to fight Lyoto Machida at UFC 184 by pointing out the differences between Machida and his originally scheduled opponent Chris Weidman.

Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday, Brazilian news outlet Globo reported that the UFC offered Vitor Belfort a fight against Lyoto Machida for the UFC interim Middleweight belt, but that "The Phenom" declined the proposition. This came after Machida had already accepted the invitation to replace Chris Weidman at UFC 184 who is out with a rib fracture.

The same report was later confirmed by, who spoke to UFC fighter Gilbert Burns - Belfort's Jiu-Jitsu coach. His camp claims that there is not enough time for Belfort to adapt for a bout against a southpaw.

"We don't think that is fair with Vitor a fight with a guy with a such different style and with nothing to lose. He has been training for more than six months to fight a orthodox wrestler. Now he would have less than a month to prepare for a southpaw karateka. I was the first one to say no."

However, Burns added that Belfort may still be present at UFC 184.

"I think that a fight against Yoel Romero, Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza, Luke Rockhold or Mark Munoz wouldn't affect the training so much but against Machida it would be all different."

Belfort took to twitter following the announcement of Weidman's injury but made no mention of any offer to fight Machida.

Here's Vitor Belfort talking Ariel Helwani about getting licensed to fight Weidman.

Ironically, Belfort indirectly called his countryman a "diva" when Machida refused to fight Jon Jones for the UFC Light Heavyweight title at UFC 152. After UFC 151's cancelation, Machida claimed that he couldn't step in with less than three weeks of training, leaving the door open for Belfort.

Belfort also added an excerpt from Brazil' anthem: "You will see that your son does not run from a fight".

Machida is scheduled to face Rockhold in the main event of UFC on FOX 15, on April 18.