UFC middleweight Vitor Belfort has won four straight fights as a middleweight with finishes in each including impressive knockouts of Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold in his last two tilts. However, just because Belfort seems to be a lock as the division’s top contender doesn’t mean “The Phenom” will be calling for a title-shot anytime soon. Rather, he’d prefer his body of work does the talking for him.

“I don’t think it’s time to ask; I think it’s time to earn. That’s my ethic in life. Life is about earning. Sometimes in life, you look at very rich guys who have been given everything, and they wind up crashing. They lose their family’s fortune. They didn’t know how to keep it because they didn’t earn it. That’s how I go through life,” explained Belfort in an interview with USA Today. “I go to the gym every day. I work hard. I know I will bring that title back. But it’s not about waiting for the time. It’s about making my time now.”

Belfort elaborated on his approach, understanding that publicly lobbying for opportunities works for some people – just not him.

“Everyone is about fighting for the title, and they want to get themselves there by selling fights, picking fights, talking trash on Twitter. I’m not saying they’re wrong. It’s a style. I’m not criticizing or judging them, because I don’t have that right,” said Belfort. “But I have the right to work hard and to ask people to recognize that work. That’s the way I want to get to the top, and I believe I made it. I believe I’ve done everything necessary.”

The 36-year old Belfort has compiled a 23-10 mark in his career with nineteen finishes. Among his victories are those over Wanderlei Silva, Yoshihiro Akiyama, and Rich Franklin.