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Vitor Belfort

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A young Vitor Belfort

Vitor Belfort is the former UFC light-heavyweight champion and also the former Cage Rage light-heavyweight champion.

First Middleweight Title RunEdit

He was most recently set for most of 2010 to face middleweight champion Anderson Silva but the fight kept being postponed because Silva and Belfort both kept sustaining injuries. Finally, Belfort decided instead to sign to fight fellow contender Yushin Okami in his official UFC middleweight debut. Then, with number-one contender Chael Sonnen being busted for steroids, the winner of Belfort vs. Okami was suspected to gain the next title shot at Silva.

Belfort withdrew soon after to face Silva instead in February 2011 and Nate Marquardt replaced him against Okami. THAT matchup would decide the next title shot against the winner of Belfort vs. Anderson Silva. Silva defeated Belfort via a historic knockout (front kick to the face) in the first round.

Belfort next faced Yoshihiro Akiyama, winning via impressive first-round knockout.

Belfort was next set to welcome former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le to the UFC. Belfort was soon injured and replaced against Le by rival Wanderlei Silva. After recovering, Belfort was next rumored to face fellow contender Alan Belcher.

Belfort next signed to welcome welterweight contender Anthony Johnson to the middleweight division in his native country of Brazil, surprising many fans. The same day, Vitor was confirmed to be coaching the Brazilian season of The Ultimate Fighter against rival and former Pride middleweight (205 lbs.) champion Wanderlei Silva. Belfort erased any doubt that he would go into the rematch with Silva with momentum as he forced Anthony Johnson to tap out due to a rear-naked choke submission with seconds left in the first round, despite Johnson coming in far over the accepted weight limit.

After The Ultimate Fighter reality show had been filmed and mere weeks before the bout with Wanderlei -- in late May 2012 -- Belfort suffered a broken hand and was forced to pull out of the rematch. He was replaced by former UFC middleweight champion and former opponent Rich Franklin.

Light-Heavyweight Title Shot Out Of NowhereEdit

After recovering, Belfort was briefly set to face Alan Belcher before stepping in on late notice to replace Dan Henderson against UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones in September 2012. The fight was Belfort's first shot at a title since the loss to Anderson Silva in February 2011.

After nearly submitting Jones in the fight's first round with an armbar, Belfort was battered by elbows en route to a fourth round americana submission loss. After the fight there was a lot of mutual respect exchanged and Belfort stated that Jones was "the best fighter in the world."

Second Middleweight Title Run: TRTitorEdit

Belfort next went back to middleweight, signing to face Michael Bisping in a main event number-one contender fight in his native Brazil. Belfort knocked out Bisping in the second round with a head kick and called out UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones insulting challenger Chael Sonnen in the process. Jones and Sonnen both laughed in Belfort's face.

Final Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold called out Belfort for his UFC debut on Fox in April 2013; the fight was made for April 2013 indeed. Belfort knocked out Rockhold in the first round with a highlight reel-worthy spinning wheel kick.

Belfort next called out Chris Weidman after Weidman knocked out the UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Instead Belfort signed to fight Strikeforce veteran Tim Kennedy.

The fight didn't actually materialize as Belfort never signed his own contract. Belfort also turned down a fight with former UFC light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida and another with former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi.

Belfort instead next called out Chael Sonnen and was rumored to be lniked to a possible rematch with former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Dan Henderson. The fight was soon confirmed. During the preparation for the Henderson rematch Belfort was also called out by Machida.

Belfort knocked out Henderson in just over a minute with his third consecutive high kick finish, becoming the first person to knock out Henderson in the legend's long and storied career. After the fight UFC president Dana White confirmed that Belfort had earned a title shot at the winner of the UFC middleweight title rematch between Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva in December 2013.

Weidman won after a tragic injury to Silva and Belfort was confirmed as receiving the title shot against the undefeated champion in May 2014.

Post TRTitorEdit

Unfortunately, after the Nevada State Athletic Commission banned (T)estosterone (R)eplacement (T)herapy in late February 2014, Vitor was forced to pull out of the fight against Weidman that had been set for Las Vegas. Belfort had been controversially -- but legally -- using TRT for over a year and a half at that point. He was replaced against Weidman by fellow former UFC light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida.

Belfort released a statement saying that he hadn't pulled out of the fight due to being afraid of Weidman as several media reports had erroneously suggested. He stated that he had pulled out because he was going to be starting the process of ending his dosing of TRT and that he wanted to be able to comply with the commission's wishes and couldn't do that by the time May rolled around. Belfort went on to state that he had been confirmed to be facing the winner of the fight between Machida and Weidman.

Instead Belfort stepped in to replace Wanderlei Silva against Chael Sonnen in late May 2014.

FightsEdit

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