Vitor Belfort. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort has signed with the UFC and will fight former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin at UFC 103 on September 19 at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas.
Before the fall of Affliction, Belfort was scheduled to face Jorge Santiago and when Josh Barnett was pulled from the main event, Belfort’s name was tossed around as a possible opponent for Fedor Emelianenko.
According to UFC president Dana White, “When we announced that Rich Franklin was fighting Dan Henderson, there was some backlash, and people didn’t like it. So we went out and just signed Vitor Belfort. The fans didn’t like the card, we changed it and it’s now Rich Franklin vs Vitor Belfort headlining in Dallas.”
Belfort possesses a mixed martial arts record of 18-8. After dropping consecutive bouts to Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz, and Alistair Overeem, Belfort has put his career back on track securing victories over Matt Lindland, Terry Martin, James Zikic, and Ivan Serati.
Henderson, who was pulled from the main event, will now get the next shot at UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.