Vitor Belfort, Wanderlei Silva Named As TUF Brazil CoachesRivals Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort and Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva will serve as opposing coaches on the debut season of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil next year. UFC officials confirmed Belfort and Silva’s participation today. The competition is expected to begin on March 25, 2012.

Belfort and Silva first squared off over 13 years ago at UFC 17.5: “Ultimate Brazil,” where Belfort scored a 44-second TKO victory. The fighters will now coach opposing teams on TUF Brazil before facing off for the second time. In the interim, Belfort takes on Anthony “Rumble” Johnson at UFC 142.

Belfort (20-9-0) has faced many ups and downs in his career since defeating Silva. In 2004, he briefly captured the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship in a rematch with Randy “The Natural” Couture before losing the title in a trilogy bout seven months later. Belfort left the UFC in 2005 and returned to the Octagon over four years later with a first-round stoppage of Rich “Ace” Franklin at UFC 103. A subsequent bid for the UFC Middleweight Championship was unsuccessful, but Belfort was impressive in dispatching of Japanese star Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 133.

Silva (34-11-1, 1 NC) went on to become the longstanding PRIDE Middleweight Champion in the years after his quick loss to Belfort. Facing a who’s who of the sport, Silva reigned supreme atop the PRIDE ranks until finally losing his title to Dan “Hendo” Henderson in a 2007 rematch. Silva made his return to the Octagon at UFC 79, but managed wins in just two of his first six bouts back. With his chin no longer as infallible as it once was, some questioned whether Silva’s most recent fight would be his last, but he rebounded from a shaky first round to stop former Strikeforce star Cung Le at UFC 139.

The Ultimate Fighter Brazil is expected to begin on March 25, 2012 and concludes with a finale in June. The show airs on Brazilian network Globo and may air in the United States on Fuel TV.



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