So I’d be lying if I said “I didn’t see Kelvin Gastelum beating Vitor Belfort like that.” It would be an egregious lie. Yet still, it was pretty rough to watch Vitor go out like that. The days where TRT Vitor, the greatest fighter of all time, annihilate his opponents with vicious combo strings is over. In his place we have a Vitor Belfort who just isn’t quite what he used to be. He’s a shell of his former self and that’s no lie. At 39 years of age and with a ton of mileage on him, Vitor Belfort should be thinking on his exit strategy. With one more fight on his contract, I could think of only one opponent that would be appropriate.
While Vitor Belfort may have seen brighter days, the same could be said for former middleweight God Anderson Silva. Gone are the days where Silva simply shrugged off opposition, knocking them out with general ease. Now we see a Silva who struggles against opposition that he would have surely overcome in his heyday. That’s no disrespect to his past several opponents, but Silva has clearly been off his game since being slept by Chris Weidman.
Now, Kelvin Gastelum called out Silva, and since the UFC likes to pair winners with winners, he’s most likely to get the fight over Belfort. But from a purely nostalgic sense, a battle between the two Brazilians could be a great send off for either fighter. Silva talks about fighting for an extended period but what better way to call it a career fighting one of the most popular Brazilian fighters of all time in Vitor Belfort? For ‘The Phenom’ having a chance to close the book on his career against the greatest to have ever done it is not only a chance at revenge, but a match up that has a tremendous amount of meaning for both fighters as well as their Brazilian fans. Making that fight happen in Rio would generate numbers and great deal of interest.
More than likely we’ll see Vitor battle it out with a lower tiered middleweight for his potential final showdown. Until then, let’s embrace the speculation and sate our appetite with a battle of legends, past their prime, but still thoroughly entertaining nonetheless.
Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. Check out his Twitter and Facebook to keep up with his antics.
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