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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort were set to square off on this past Saturday night's UFC 147 event before Belfort bowed out with a broken hand. The loss of Belfort meant no rematch for the two of a fight that took place 14 years ago, and it meant the coaches from the first season of "The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil" wouldn't meet.
Now, if they do meet again, it may not be the next fight for either of them. May being the operative word, as it seems there's some conflicting thought on the idea of putting the two of them together next.
Following the event on Saturday night in Brazil - where Silva was defeated a second time by Rich Franklin - UFC executive Marshall Zelaznik expressed the UFC's interest in having that fight take place.
"That's certainly something we're working towards," he said (transcribed by MMAJunkie.com. "No contracts have been sent or signed, but I think that's in the plans – to try [to] make that fight happen."
However, Zelaznik may have spoken out of turn, as UFC President Dana White had an altogether different take on the fight happening next.
"[Vitor's next fight] will not be against Wanderlei, he just lost tonight," White said flatly on the Fuel TV post-fight show on Saturday night. "When Vitor heals up, we will see what happens and go from there."
White was, however, complimentary of Silva's performance, and made it clear that Silva's one of the members of their roster who will be a part of the organization whether they're fighting or not.
"Wanderlei almost won that fight," White said. "It is tough to say [what his fighting future holds]. I said it last night, he used to be my arch nemesis over at PRIDE and I wanted that Chuck fight since PRIDE. But since he came to the UFC, he has been great, acting like he has been in the UFC for a long time. He has been honest and great and he is going to be with the UFC for a long time whether he is fighting or not."
Penick's Analysis: The fact that Silva lost makes a rematch with Belfort a less intriguing fight for Belfort, for sure. He already beat Silva once, and though he'd have motivation for the fight based on their collective distaste for one another following The Ultimate Fighter in Brazil, that's about it. Belfort's still eying a return to a title fight, and with Silva losing to Franklin, that rematch isn't a fight that moves him anywhere. White's made his feelings known on the subject, and whenever Belfort is healed up we'll find out whether White's take wins out.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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