Vitor Belfort. Photo by Tracy Lee/CombatLifestyle.com
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort has been forced to pull out of his scheduled middleweight bout against Matt Lindland at Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” show on October 11th due to a lingering hand injury that will leave him unable to compete.
Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio informed MMA Weekly of Belfort’s withdraw late last night and MMA on Tap has since confirmed the change with Belfort’s camp. The Brazilian suffered a broken hand in the first round of his knockout win over Terry Martin on July 19th. Belfort was originally optimistic about being able to compete this fall, but the opinions of a handful of doctors have apparently now changed his mind.
“Vitor is out, I spoke with him I think yesterday and he told me,” Atencio said. “Actually, it was on Tuesday we had a conversation for about an hour or so, and yeah, I guess he broke his hand in two places is what he told me and he had been having 2, 3 and 4 opinions on it. He finally got the opinion that he wanted I guess and they told him to step out for a while.”
While a replacement opponent for Lindland has not yet been found, rumors are now circulating that EliteXC welterweight champion Jake Shields would consider moving up in weight to face the former Olympic wrestler should EliteXC officials permit him to take the fight. However neither side has been very open about the possibility or the potential ongoing negotiations.
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