Belfort and Silva met for the first time back in 2011, when the latter was in the midst of his storied reign as middleweight champ. Silva took out Belfort with a front kick to the face, and footage of the finish has been viewed a bazillion times since.
Well, more recently, Belfort’s been ringing up the highlight reel, wins, and earlier this month he stopped Dan Henderson with yet another headkick. Since the victory there’s been a lot of discussion as to what could be next for Belfort, and as White noted, they’re looking at Belfort-Silva II.
Well, recently Souza spoke to the media in advance of his December 12th scrap with Yoel Romero. When he was asked about the possibility of his buddy and training partner taking on Belfort next, Souza said this (quotes via MMA Fighting.com):
“I believe the result would be the same,” Souza said. “Anderson is impressive, but, in my opinion, as a friend and seeing him as guy that is helping me now, I think he should fight again before fighting Belfort to get his rhythm back.
“Belfort is in a strong rhythm now, he fought three times in a row now. Anderson spent some time off, had this issue now and spent a year off, so I think Anderson should fight again first.”
That’s pretty interesting to hear no? When you consider Silva has fought just once since 2013 and won’t be eligible to return until next spring, you can see why Souza would raise concerns regarding cage rust etc. But to say this publicly is somewhat surprising.
Further, if not Belfort, then who does Silva fight? It’s hard to imagine the UFC not matching up the legend against a top tier opponent.
It should also be noted that “Jacare” was also asked if he thinks Silva has what it takes to win another title, and he reportedly said “yes.”