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Chael Sonnen ruled out as Vitor Belfort’s November opponent

Earlier this week, hard-hitting Brazilian middleweight Vitor Belfort spoke out via his Twitter page to announce he would be returning to the Octagon in November. He also stated his yet-to-be-named adversary would not be current 185-pound champion Anderson Silva.

It now appears fans can also scratch Chael Sonnen off the list of potential opponents too.

Belfort recently spoke with Sherdog and shed some light on a recent discussion he had with Zuffa executive Lorenzo Fertitta.

“I just asked him to not be (on the November card in Germany). I’m tired of traveling. I would like to return to fighting here in America. According to my conversation with Lorenzo, my opponent will not be Sonnen but another guy that will be decided soon.”

UFC 122 is scheduled for November 13th in Germany meaning it’s likely “The Phenom” will instead compete at UFC 123 the following weekend on a card currently headlined by a clash between top light heavyweight title-holders Lyoto Machida and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.

Belfort’s words also lend credit to a statement made by UFC President Dana White on ESPN’s Sportscenter where he implied Sonnen’s next bout would likely be a rematch with Silva, a man he dominated for four-and-a-half rounds before succumbing to a submission in the last few minutes of their match-up.

So who will “The Phenom” fight in November? Though nothing official has been announced, likely candidates include Chris Leben and Yushin Okami. Leben has won three in a row, while Okami has emerged victorious in five on his last six Octagon appearances.

  • qat says:

    crap, i would have loved to see him on the germany-card. till now there are some interesting bouts, but nothing that will draw me to be there live, belfort vs x could have been such a fight. lets see what they make out of it.

  • Dufresne says:

    The problem with Belfort vs Sonnen is that you go from 2 potential money making fights for Silva to 1. Silva vs Belfort will draw because we all want to see that fight, Silva vs Sonnen 2 will draw big because of the first fight. Look for the UFC to keep both guys winning until they get a shot at Silva. -JBAR

    Man JBAR, do you have an in with the UFC? You’ve been spot on with every call you’ve made lately.

    Got any tips on betting lines 😀

  • Talengard says:

    I was thinking Wanderlei, or did he and belfort train together?

  • JBAR says:

    Just looking at it from a business perspective Dufresne. As much as we love the sport side of it never forget that it is a business and money rules the day. Sonnen vs Silva II would make sense while the excitement is still fresh in everyones mind. If Sonnen or Silva were to fight someone else and struggle or lose you would lose a lot of that excitement and thus PPV buys. You also have to remember that casual MMA fans outnumber us hardcore fans by probably 10-1 and they have very short memories so you have to strike while the iron is hot. Most of them did not even know who Sonnen was until he fought Silva and if he fought someone else and was not imperssive in a win most would look at the Silva fight as a fluke caused by Silva’s injury.

    The best betting tip I can give is do not bet on anything you are passionate about because your heart will cloud your mind and cause a sharp pain in you ass where your wallet used to be. :)

  • I think that Leben is the best match up. Okami’s standup has evolved greatly but Vitor is light years ahead of him and I dont want to watch Okami lay on Belfort for three rounds. Leben has an Iron chin but Belfort has way more technical striking and what not. If they stood and traded I could see Vitor crackin Leben with three or four SOLID shots Leben lookin rocked and CRACK…Vitor goes down. FOTN and KOOTN all in one. I could easily see Vitor droppin Leben as well in that exact scenario….Im votin for that one.

    WAR LEBEN VS. BELFORT get on it Joe Silva

  • Rece Rock says:

    Didn’t DW already say yesterday that Sonnen / Silva rematch was more than likely the next for both guys??

    Leben vs. anybody …. hey that works for me right now just want to see the crippler back in there soon, he’s on point lately… turned me into a fan, that’s for sure.

  • Swing Em says:

    I’m glad to hear Belfort won’t be fighting Sonnen as the fight doesn’t make a lot of sense…yet. I think having Belfort fight Leben is the best option for multiple reasons. 1. it will be a fan friendly fight whether you’re a casual observer or a diehard pundit because you know these two are gunna go for the finish 2. it does have title implications because of Vitor’s #2 contender ranking & Leben’s winning streak over solid opponets. 3. call me crazy but i think this one ends with a KO (which i would be willing to bet comes in the 1st) and who doesn’t love a knockout.

    If this fight does get signed i’m taking Belfort by KO RD1

  • manny says:

    Yeah that’s bc the ufc is setting up a rematch, sonnen vs silva 2.
    They only way I see any organization give anyone an immediate rematch is when it ends in a controversial decision.(ex: machida vs shogun, penn vs edgar) these were controversial decisions and they did deserve another shot. This one on the other hand, the fighter got submitted. Name any fighter that LOST the fight via tko, ko or sub and got another try?………..NO one!
    Makes no sense to me, he lost so get back in line. UFC is using Sonnen and his politician skills to sell another fight and expect a different out come. Yes, a healthy silva will finish off sonnen for good something sonned doesnt know how to do in his fights

  • boomnutz says:

    Manny, i was about to throw my argument out there, but you hit the nail on the head…I understand Chael did way better than anyone expected, but Anderson was hurt and still subbed him, the say thing will happen again, only sooner, but also now we have to wait 9 months too see it. Or you could have Sonnen and Belfort fight and lend some credence to a Belfort title shot, because many people don’t think he deserves, what better way to prove it than to have him beat the man who just took Anderson to the limit, and you get to capitalize on Chael’s momentary popularity. Or Chael wins, and there’s a now GOOD reason for a rematch…


    Chael sonnen would destroy Belfort-Leben is at the equal level of Vitor

  • MCM says:

    “According to my conversation with Lorenzo, my opponent will not be Sonnen but another guy that will be decided soon.”

    I see all the reasons why he should fight Leben and I love that match-up. But what about Marquardt v Palhares? If the other guy will be decided soon, it could be the winner of this fight. I would personally love to see Nate the Great take on Vitor. Baring any major injuries this fight could happen by UFC 123.

  • stone says:

    Nate vs. Vitor would be awesome… I think Vitor should just wait to be an alternate. Out of all these bad-ass 185 fights someone is bound to get injured. Bisping n Akiyama. Nate n Palhares. Leben n Wand. Sonnen n Silva. Belcher is gonna be back soon. Maia n Miranda. But for sure a fight soon… Any more waiting will lead to some serious ring rust! Why not be ready to alternate a quick fight at 205.

  • CQBRA03 says:

    Sonnen deserves another shot at Silva. Belfort needs to beat more than Franklin to fight for the title and a fight against Chris Leben would be a great match-up for a title shot. Leben stepped up big time for the UFC against Akiyama, and he should be rewarded with this fight. A win by Leben would be HUGE, and 4 in a row against quality guys. That plus, this fight would be fireworks!


    Chael would own Vitor-And I am a Vitor fan

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Belfort vs a guy who stands. I will bet my … your, life on it.

  • Creature says:

    im gonna have 2 go with vitor fighting okami, not leben, leben has already called out wanderlie and wanderlie said he wanted leben so that fights prolly happening, if vitor doesnt get okami it will be the winner of marquardt/palhares fight.

    ill be very happy if chael gets his rematch, 1. huge money maker, 2. even IF he doesnt win again id still be ok with another 4 round beating of silva, i think hes a cocky prick and i loved seeing him get dismantled. and would love 2 see it again :) and i dont want chael retiring

  • manny says:

    I really think Palhares is a guy who everybody is over looking in this division. When he faces and submitts nate in the main event, he sould be in the mix. Obvioulsy he’ll have no problem being on his back when he faces sonnen or anyone else. I’d bet Sonnen will not fake tap on one of his submissions bc he wont let go. :)

  • MCM says:

    Palhares is a freaking beast. I don’t think it’s an easy fight for Marquardt at all. I’m just a bigger fan of Nate and want to see him get another shot at the belt. I’ve got Palhares in my top 5 MW, Vitor doesn’t make it cause he hasn’t fought at MW in the UFC yet.

  • […] is actually one Belfort requested to be passed over for, as he recently stated he specifically asked Zuffa executive Lorenzo Fertitta to not be booked overseas for his next in-ring […]


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