Until recently, the two were booked to fight at UFC 181 on December 6th, but Weidman was forced to drop out due to a hand injury. While the bout hasn’t been handed a new, official date, Weidman-Belfort is expected to go down sometime in early 2015, possibly in February.
Well, in a recent interview with the Brazilian publication, Combate, Belfort posited that Weidman withdrew from the fight so that he could keep his belt through “Christmas”. In addition, the 37 year-old reportedly argued that the UFC should consider creating an interim title (now this is assuming that Google translate was on the ball).
Mr. Weidman, you see, didn’t care for the comments. While appearing on a recent episode of “The MMA Hour”, here is some of what the undefeated fighter had to say, when he was informed of Belfort’s statements (quotes via MMA Fighting.com):
“This is a guy who, I just fought in July,” Weidman said. “It doesn’t make any sense, it’s not like I’ve been out for a year. This guy hasn’t fought since November. And I was actually, we were supposed to fight. We were lined up to fight in July. And he had to pull out of the fight. And you know why he had to pull out of the fight? He failed a drug test. So this guy is failing drug tests and he has the audacity, he has the balls to start talking junk? About me not fighting. He hasn’t fought since November. So what if he gets the belt? So what happens with that? He just makes no sense. That’s the bottom line.”
“I want to completely toy with him,” Weidman furthered. “I want to toy with him. I want to beat him up standing, I want to toss him on his butt. Smack him in his mouth a couple times while he’s on the ground. Maybe go for a submission, make him almost tap, and let go of it, let him stand up, beat him up on the feet, take him down again, just completely just make a mockery of him.”
Whoa. That’s some pretty strong stuff from Weidman, who isn’t really known for trash talk or making over the top threats. Belfort has clearly gotten under the skin of the decorated wrestler and in a big way.
As Weidman noted, Belfort hasn’t competed since last November, when he took out Dan Henderson in the opening round. The impressive win followed Belfort’s stoppage victories over Luke Rockhold and Michael Bisping, which also went down in “The Phenom’s” jaw dropping, 2013 campaign. As a result of his run, Belfort is currently ranked #3 in the UFC’s 185 division.
Weidman, on the other hand, just fought in July and scored a decision win over Lyoto Machida. Prior to that, he recorded his second stoppage win over Anderson Silva at UFC 168 in December.
Growing beef between Weidman and Belfort aside, that fight is going to be one of the bigger ones in 2015. Here’s hoping it takes place sooner than later.