After his “UFC on FX 7” second round TKO victory against Michael Bisping on Jan. 19, Vitor Belfort had come harsh things to say about Chael Sonnen.
“He’s a clown, get out the way,” Belfort said during a Fuel TV post-fight interview. “You just got knocked out pretty badly with Anderson Silva, and then you fight Jon Jones? You don’t deserve it… let me fight, real champion vs. real champion.”
Not one to back down from a verbal sparring match, Sonnen responded to Belfort during the UFC on Fuel TV post-fight show.
“Let me be really clear and speak directly to you Vitor,” Sonnen responded. “You’ve been telling the world that you want to meet Jesus, and I would gladly arrange that travel. But first, I’m gonna get rid of Jon Jones, but you are next. … Vitor I accept, don’t make any mistakes about that. You’ve called me out twice now. Once after I signed a contract to fight Anderson [Silva] and once when you knew I was busy with Jon Jones. But I’m letting you know, I accept.”
Obviously, Vitor’s case for a rematch against Jones isn’t strong, even though the Brazilian exceeded expectations during their UFC 152 encounter. At the end of the day, Jones proved he was the better man, and it’s hard to see a rematch between the two going any differently.
Belfort would be better off setting his sights on a second shot at the middleweight title, unless of course, Sonnen defies the odds and upsets Jones at UFC 159 when the two square up for the light-heavyweight strap.
If Sonnen miraculously emerges victorious at UFC 159, Belfort would be a good choice for his first title defense, if Jones doesn’t get an automatic rematch. The bad-blood between the two has been brewing for a while, and their respective styles make it an interesting matchup.
On paper, a potential bout seems to favor Sonnen, considering the fact the Portland native should be able to control Belfort with his wrestling. Jones didn’t have any problems taking Belfort to the ground and keeping him there during their UFC 152 encounter, so it’s only logical to assume Sonnen will enjoy the same success.
However, even though Belfort had a hard time dealing with Jones’ wrestling — all of “Bones'” past opponents have had the same problem — he’s been successful against solid wrestlers in the past, with wins against guys like Randy Couture and Matt Lindland.
Besides, Sonnen has been susceptible to submissions throughout his MMA career, so he still might end up losing an encounter against Belfort even if he’s able to consistently take “The Phenom” down. Vitor showed his guard can be dangerous during his UFC 152 fight against Jones, almost finishing an armbar during the first round.
Factor in the fact Vitor should have the advantage in the striking department, and it becomes obvious a Sonnen vs. Belfort matchup does have the potential for fireworks.
Even if Chael isn’t able to upset Jones on April 27, a fight against Belfort still sounds like a good idea at either 205 or 185 pounds.