UFC legend Vitor Belfort is already looking past his next opponent, which happens to be Oscar De La Hoya, and has called out former rival Anderson Silva with a fresh challenge - and this one could have some legs to it.
Silva, the 45-year-old 'Spider', shocked the world by beating the living daylights out of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr last Saturday night. At the same time, Belfort has been back in training after announcing he will fight again in an exhibition bout at an upcoming Triller event in September.
The former UFC middleweight champion has received challenges from Roy Jones Jr, ex-NFL star Chad Johnson, and others - but his fellow Brazilian is very keen on testing himself against the man who knocked him out at UFC 126 in February 2011.
“I think [we’ll face each other in boxing]," Belfort told Combate. "They say the rematch is something everyone likes.
"It’s not the dish we eat, it’s the dish you eat.
"My message [for Anderson] is: see you soon."
Belfort, the musclebound Brazilian who bears a strong resemblance to Matsuda from Street Fighter, has had an up-and-down 25-year MMA career.
The 41-fight veteran had two stints in the UFC and the highlight was undoubtedly back in 2005 when he won the light heavyweight belt - before losing it in a rematch to Randy Couture that same year. The 44-year-old is tied third for the most finishes in UFC history with 14.
Like Silva, he has also briefly dabbled in boxing before, his record showing a stoppage victory, and once had hopes of fighting James Toney over a decade ago when the American swapped the ring for the cage.
"Dana let me fight James Toney on 6 round box[ing] match I think I can catch him with my speed," Belfort wrote on Twitter. "Dana [it] will be the 1 boxing match in UFC I promise he will feel my power and we will show the world [that] a UFC fighter can do better."
Vitor Belfort to fight Oscar De La Hoya
'Golden Boy' of boxing De La Hoya said 'this is much bigger' than him after the announcement of his exhibition fight against Belfort.
De La Hoya, 39-6 in his professional career, will come out of retirement to fight the former UFC light heavyweight champion.
According to a recent report from The Athletic, he will square off with the former UFC fighter on September 11 in a pay-per-view exhibition bout on Triller Fight Club.
“Oscar is an Olympic gold medallist one of the best pound-for-pound fighters ever,” said Belfort, according to TMZ.
“He revolutionized the sport. Vitor was the youngest UFC champion.
"If it were not for Oscar, [Floyd] Mayweather wouldn’t exist. If it were not for Vitor Belfort, [Conor] McGregor wouldn’t exist.
"Now the new generation will be taught about the history of the sport. This fight will break all the records. This fight will sell more than Muhammad Ali vs George Foreman.”News Now - Sport News