UFC President Dana White revealed last night on the UFC 183 Post Fight Show that Vitor Belfort declined an interim title fight with Lyoto Machida after middleweight champion Chris Weidman pulled out of UFC 184 with a rib injury.
White indicated that there was another option for Belfort to remain on the UFC 184 card, but did not reveal what that option may be.
On early Sunday afternoon, Belfort released a statement on his Facebook fan page on why he was not willing to take a fight for the interim title at UFC 184 at the end of the month.
About the cancellation of my UFC 184 fight.
I would like to say that, as everyone else, I’m very disappointed with all this situation.
For exactly one year, I have seen my dream to make history in UFC with my 3rd world title in a different weight category postponed.
Here are some facts:
– UFC had to reschedule the middleweight world title content 3 times because of my opponent’s injuries. (from May/14 to July/14- Weidman had a knee surgery, from December/14 to February/15 – Weidman had his hand broken, from February/15 to probably May/15- Weidman had his ribs hurt)
– MY FOCUS WAS ALWAYS THE MIDDLEWEIGHT BELT AND I CLIMBED THE LADDER TO ACHIEVE MY POSITION.
– This is why I won’t fight for an interim, but if UFC gives 8 weeks and the middleweight Belt available for dispute I fight with anyone from the ranking. Not for an Interin, But the Middleweight Belt!
– I’ve been in this sport for 19 years and I have never let UFC down.
– I accepted to fight for the Light Heavyweight Belt right after the my sister got kidnapped and I still won the world championship.
– I offered myself to fight in the UFC 152 against Jon Jones with less than 8 weeks to prepare myself to the bout and I had exactly the same injury my opponent has now and still I stepped up to the fight.
I would like to thank UFC, the press and fans support, always.
Focused in the Middleweight Belt!
With the title fight between Weidman and Belfort being off the UFC 184 card, the February 28 card in Los Angeles will now be headlined by Ronda Rousey defending the UFC women’s bantamweight title against Cat Zingano.