Vitor Belfort's in an interesting spot come late January.
The Brazilian has a tough fight against Anthony Johnson, but also has a fight likely booked for the summer against Wanderlei Silva. He and Silva are the coaches on "The Ultimate Fighter Brazil." It seems like a possible look ahead spot for Belfort.
Johnson isn't bothered by the double booking.
"That's fine. I'm gonna spoil it. I'm gonna spoil it for them. I'm glad they put that [together], the coaches together for a show," Johnson told Sirius Fight Club on Sirius 94/XM 208. "It's two legends in Brazil. That's great for the Brazilian fighters and the overall MMA community, and for the world to see. Because both of those guys have a ton of knowledge," Johnson said. "Hell, I might just take his job after the fight!"
Johnson, a good prefight trash talker, sounded like he's going to dial it down a bit around the sometimes over-the-top Brazilian fans.
"Only thing I'm worried about is if I can make it out of Brazil or not," joked Johnson. He's noticed Chael Sonnen really stirring the pot around a possible Anderson Silva fight. "[Now] Sonnen needs to worry. I'm not on his level in talking as much as he talks. What he's saying is good for promotion, but it's also bad. There's some things you say and some things you don't say."
Johnson said he's not worried about trying to verbally intimidate Belfort. He's more interested in making sure he's on point on fight night.
"Of course his hands are fast, but I have to stick my gameplan and what I know and what I do best. Once I start worrying about what he can do. Then that's when you stop thinking about what you can do," said Johnson.
The matchup makes for an intriguing fight. It's strength against strength.
The 6-foot-2 Johnson has spent his entire career fighting down at 170. How will he react to a smaller weight cut? Johnson said he'll still be cutting from around 210 pounds. Will his power translate to the 185-pound division? Maybe he does catch Belfort looking ahead. He's certainly got nothing to lose. We'll find out if Belfort, who's biggest weakness is his mental game from fight-to-fight, is rock solid in Rio.