UFC President Dana White said the UFC was “working on” booking Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort II last week.
Reports surfaced earlier today that the proposed bout was booked for UFC 197 in Rio de Janeiro on March 5, about two months after the end of Silva’s suspension for performance-enhancing drugs.
But as the fight becomes more and more of a reality, at least one fighter close to Silva doesn’t think a rematch against Belfort is the way to go. Silva’s teammate, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, thinks the outcome would mirror that of the original meeting, but that doesn’t mean “The Spider” should jump back into such a competitive bout so soon.
Souza told MMAFighting:
“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.”
Silva has not fought since January of this year, defeating Nick Diaz in a five-round unanimous decision at UFC 183. He’d spent all of 2014 on the shelf, recovering from a gruesome broken leg suffered at UFC 168 in December 2013 in a title rematch against current champion Chris Weidman.
Belfort is 4-1 in his last five, most recently seen victorious against Dan Henderson in early November.
The former middleweight champion previously defended his title against Belfort over four years ago, defeating “The Phenom” with a devastating highlight-reel knockout at UFC 126.