Former UFC champion Vitor Belfort is getting ready for a Jan. 19 middleweight tussle with Michael Bisping at UFC on FX 7 in São Paulo, Brazil. Today, Belfort spoke of the match-up in an interview with the Metro newspaper.
In addressing recent statements where his English opponent said he would make Belfort his “punching bag,” the Brazilian chose to avoid adding fuel to the fire of controversy.
“I don’t feel there was a lack of respect in that. It’s a fight, the best man wins. I’m not concerning myself with talking; I’m concerning myself with doing,” he said.
“I know Bisping. He even trains with a sponsor of mine who asked me if I wanted to let him continue training there. I told him yes. I want him well-prepared, well-conditioned,” said Belfort. “I’m not worried about anything else, not even the future. All I think is that I have to beat Michael Bisping and beat him good. That’s my focus.”
The fight in early 2013 will mark Belfort’s third appearance in a UFC event on Brazilian soil. In the interview, he addressed his motivation in fighting at home and for a Brazilian crowd.
“It’s the best thing in the world to fight in my country and be able to use that to drive me. I’ll be ready and counting on the crowd,” said the Carlson Gracie black belt.
The fighter also touched on the investment soccer clubs are making in MMA, as has Sport Club Corinthians, which just won the Club World Cup and sponsors two of his countrymen.
“It’s great to see the value soccer clubs have placed on MMA. I just hope MMA doesn’t become like soccer, which is mired in politics. But I’m glad to see Corinthians (sponsor of Junior dos Santos and Anderson Silva) taking the business seriously. I hope they can increase the amount of new fighters coming up the ranks,” he said.
Belfort is coming off a fourth-round submission loss to light heavyweight champion Jon Jones at UFC 152. Bisping’s last appearance was at the same event, where he topped Brian Stann via unanimous decision.
Check out the complete card for the upcoming event:
UFC on FX7
Ginásio do Ibirapuera, São Paulo, Brazil
January 19, 2013
- Vitor Belfort vs Michael Bisping
- Daniel Sarafian vs CB Dollaway
- Gabriel Napão vs Ben Rothwell
- Thiago Tavares vs Khabib Nurmagomedov
- Godofredo Pepey vs Miltinho Vieira
- Ronny Markes vs Andrew Craig
- Diego Nunes vs Nik Lentz
- Edson Barboza vs Justin Salas
- Iuri Marajó vs George Roop
- Wagner Caldeirão vs Roger Hollett
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