Long, Strange Trip
On 10/16/1998 Vitor Belfort destroyed Wanderlei Silva, in 44 seconds.
The Axe Murderer eventually moved to Pride, where he smashed his way into everyone's short list of favorite fighters, taking the Pride lightheavyweight title, and defeating the likes of Dan Henderson, 'Rampage' Jackson, and Kazushi Sakuraba (three times). Silva, who underwent knee reconstructive knee surgery in July, has not fought since he earned a unanimous decision over Michael Bisping at UFC 110 in February 2010.
Fans have long called for a rematch with Belfort, who is coming off a February loss to champion Anderson Silva at UFC 126. But longtime mentor Rafael Cordeiro wants to see a tune up fight first.
“I think Wanderlei is coming off multiple injuries, but, at the same time, he has a desire to make this fight. There is a desire as an athlete and a fighter to make this rematch with Vitor. I think, at this point, in my opinion as a friend and coach, he should have a fight with someone else before Vitor. When I say someone, I mean anyone who gets him back to being active."
“This fight with Vitor will become very important in his life, and he really wants it. For Wanderlei to be 100 percent for the fight with Vitor, it’s important that he get another fight before it.”
“Vitor just fought for the belt, and, thinking about the rhythm of the fight, he’s ahead of Wanderlei in that regard. I’m not saying that he’s better than Wanderlei, but Wanderlei needs to pick up his pace.”
“I think he has the desire to fight with Vitor. Vitor already defeated him, and he has this desire to have revenge. However, the body says he stopped fighting a year ago and needs additional time to regenerate. He returned to training, with a focus on fighting, only 15 days ago. He was weight training, but he returned to fight training only recently. We’re still afraid to push him 100 percent. The most important thing is that the UFC wants him to fight, regardless of the time he’s been out.”
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While Wanderlei's coach wants him to wait before a rematch with Vitor, Belfort's former coach Sean Tompkins says he will never, never, never work with 'The Phenom' ever again.
Steve Cofield: “We mentioned Vitor Belfort, you’ve worked with him in the past. I guessing you’re not working with him moving forward, right?”
Shawn Tompkins: “Never.”
SC: “You said never.”
ST: “Never. Never again.”
SC: “Why not?”
ST: “I’m not really interested in working with guys that aren’t solely with me and that are guys that aren’t with me from the bottom-up. My new goal and my new thought on my team and a lot has to do with Vitor is I want to train guys and bring up the new Vitor Belforts. I want to bring up the next Randy Coutures. You know, I worked with Dan Henderson for three fights, I was there and helped him train when he knocked out Wanderlei Silva. You know, I went from there, I worked with Wanderlei Silva when he knocked out Keith Jardine. I helped Randy Couture when he beat Gonzaga, you know I helped Vitor Belfort get three of the most devastating knockouts of his career. Has it really done that much for me? You know? It’s brought me along in the sport in the eyes of the fans, but really where my bread-and-butter is and where my love for the sport is are the guys at the baseline, the bottom, from the bottom to the top. Look at where I am right now with Sam Stout, Mark Hominick, Chris Horodecki. Look at where I am with Mark Hominick. That’s where the love for this sport for me is.”
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