UFC middleweight Vitor Belfort had a great 2013. "The Phenom" won three fights by highlight reel KO and earned a shot at 185 pound champ Chris Weidman this coming May at UFC 173.
Weidman also had a great 2013. In fact, after he dominated long time pound for pound champ Anderson Silva for four straight rounds over two fights last year, en route to two devastating TKO wins, we chose him as the Yahoo! Sports Male Fighter of 2013.
Weidman was also voted by fans as the Fighters Only Magazine 2013 fighter of the year and was presented the award during a recent ceremony in Las Vegas. Belfort was, of course, also in consideration.
Truth is, any choice from Belfort, Weidman, Urijah Faber or Demetrious Johnson for top male fighter of 2013 would be completely reasonable. Everyone has opinions but most fighters realize that awards are subjective and show grace and dignity when they receive them or get overlooked for them.
Not Vitor Belfort. No sir.
Belfort instead told Brazilian outlet Globo that Weidman receiving the fan award was "shameful."
"Not that it should be me, but he wins because of just one fight? It was shameful. He won one fight. The other he wouldn't have won, it was an accident," Belfort said.
This half-formed notion that Weidman is somehow the lucky recipient of an "accident" when, after knocking down and dominating Anderson Silva in the first round of their December UFC 168 rematch as he had done for all of their original July fight, Weidman checked two kicks in a row from "The Spider" and broke the Brazilian's leg in half, is not new. It has been offered by heartbroken Silva fans on message boards all over the internet since the fight.
We would expect a more reasonable perspective from a professional fighter like Belfort, however. No, Vitor, Weidman beating Silva (who knocked Belfort out in short order when they fought) twice in 2013 was not an "accident."
The way you won the UFC light heavyweight championship back at UFC 46 was as close as you can get to an accidental win, however. Back in 2004, Vitor took on champ Randy Couture in a title rematch of their first meeting in 1997.
In the first round, Belfort swung hard with a punch at Couture's head and whiffed. Well, almost.
The punch missed but a seam on Belfort's glove grazed and sliced an eyelid of Couture. Referee John McCarthy eventually noticed that Couture's eye was bleeding and when the doctor saw the damage, the fight was stopped.
The UFC glove design was subsequently fixed and nothing like that has ever occurred again. Belfort would lose the rubber match against Couture later that year after getting dominated for a few rounds.
In fact, Belfort lost five out of his next seven fights after his fluke win over Couture and then tested positive for steroids. Belfort is fortunate to have ever gotten back into the UFC and he's downright lucky to currently receive therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for testosterone replacement therapy considering his past documented steroid abuse.
You'd think the spiritual Belfort might be a bit more gracious and happy right now. After all, he had a great year and, in large part because Weidman beat Silva, now has another shot at a UFC belt. Additionally, the long-time executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Keith Kizer, who had said Belfort would face an up-hill battle being granted a TUE in Nevada is no longer heading the commission.
I mean, what does Vitor have to complain about these days, exactly? Alas, the mullet-hawked superstar didn't stop blasting Weidman's accomplishments.
"The ceremony in Las Vegas was pretty cool, but the votes are from the fans, not always they are right. Sometimes the results aren't fair," Belfort went on.
"[Fighter's Only Magazine coach of the year winner] Duane [Ludwig] is a good coach, but, for God's sake, especially this year, the winner not being Dede Pederneiras...There is something wrong."
There is something wrong indeed, Vitor - your attitude. We chose Ludwig for 2013 honors as well, but it was quite close between he and fellow finalist Andre Pederneiras.
If fans in that poll chose Ludwig, it doesn't demean Pederneiras in any way. Belfort's ceaseless complaining in recent years, however, is starting to tarnish all the fighter has accomplished in his hall of fame career.
We'll always love watching Belfort fight. He's exciting, explosive and well-rounded.
Listening to him talk, on the other hand, is becoming a bit of a chore. "For God's sake" indeed, Vitor.
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- Vitor Belfort
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