MANILA, Philippines – For former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort it’s going to be the old versus the new when he faces reigning light heavyweight titlist Jon Jones.
“He’s the new version of the sport; I come from the old version. It’s a perfect fit. The fans are going to enjoy it,” said Belfort, known as “The Phenom,” in ESPN.com.
Belfort was named as the replacement for Dan Henderson, who injured his knee while preparing for Jones.
The trash-talking Chael Sonnen was initially offered to Jones, but the latter didn’t want to fight Sonnen on only eight days' notice.
“For Jones, on a personal level, fighting Chael Sonnen wasn’t worth it. Chael didn’t deserve to fight a guy like Jones,” said Belfort.
Jones refusal to fight resulted to the postponement of UFC 151, which was slated on September 1. The event was instead moved to September 22.
Belfort said he was willing to take the fight at the original date. “If the fight would have happened next Saturday, I would have stepped in,” he said.
He said that fighters from the “old days of MMA” would have taken the fight even on short notice.
“When you have a history like I do, somebody like me from the old days, we’re not divas,” Belfort said.