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UFC 126 weigh-in blog: Silva and Belfort separated after going face to face

One fighter misses weight at first, but comes in on second attempt

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Justin M. Bowen

UFC President Dana White has to separate Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort during the weigh-in for UFC 126 on Friday, Feb. 4, 2011, at Mandalay Bay Events Center.

UFC 126 Weigh-In

Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort talk trash during the weigh-in for UFC 126 on Friday, Feb. 4, 2011, at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Launch slideshow »

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Anderson Silva picked Friday’s UFC 126 weigh-in at the Mandalay Bay Events Center as the time and place to stop hiding his animosity toward Vitor Belfort.

After both fighters made weight at 185 pounds for Saturday’s Main Event and middleweight title bout, Silva put on a plain white mask and forced his face right into Belfort’s.

The mask was an attempt to mock Belfort, who accused Silva of saying and doing “silly things” and wearing a mask to hide himself on Thursday.

The confrontation quickly escalated and the two began jawing at each other in Portuguese. Eventually, UFC President Dana White and members of each of their camps had to separate the two from each other.

“I said he wears a mask,” Belfort said after the incident. “I know him. He’s a good man, but in fights it’s not him and he tries to put on a show.”

Silva (27-4) and Belfort (19-8) hold a long-standing rift, perhaps stemming back to when they trained together in their native Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but declined to discuss it leading up to the fight.

Instead, they shared their dislike with the packed crowd at the weigh-in. Although they yelled at each other for about 30 seconds, neither offered much insight on what was said.

“There’s no secret what I said,” Silva said through a translator. “You guys came here to watch a show. Vitor talks a lot. That’s what you’re going to see — a show.”

The fans sided with Belfort, cheering while he spoke. Through a downpour of boos, Silva was asked what he expected to happen in tomorrow night’s fight.

“How’s it going to go? I’m not sure,” Silva said. “You guys are going to see a great fight, though.”

The weigh-in was tame other than the friction between Silva and Belfort. The only other fight that produced anything close to an intense stare down was the main card light heavyweight bout between Ryan Bader (13-0) and Jon Jones (11-1).

After they both made weight, Bader got as close as he could to Jones for their fight photo. Bader glared while Jones refused to look him in the eyes.

Jones weighed in at 206 — one pound over the 205 mark is acceptable — while Bader came in at 205.

The final headlining bout, between Forrest Griffin and Rich Franklin, featured a friendly photo and quick embrace afterward. Griffin came in at 205 pounds, while Franklin weighed two pounds less than the limit at 203.

One of the fighters in the first preliminary bout of the night, Mike Pierce, missed his 170-pound target initially. Pierce, who fights Kenny Robertson, came in at 172 pounds even after stripping down with only a towel covering his body from the crowd.

But Pierce had one more chance to make weight an hour later and came in at 171 pounds, according to UFC officials. The fight will go on officially as scheduled.

Full Weigh-In Results:

Vitor Belfort (185) vs. Anderson Silva (185)

Rich Franklin (203) vs. Forrest Griffin (205)

Ryan Bader (205) vs. Jon Jones (206)

Carlos Eduardo Rocha (170) vs. Jake Ellenberger (171)

Antonio Banuelos (136) vs. Miguel Torres (136)

Paul Kelly (155) vs. Donald Cerrone (155)

Michihiro Omigawa (146) vs. Chad Menders (146)

Demetrious Johnson (136) vs. Kid Yamamoto (135)

Gabe Ruediger (155) vs. Paul Taylor (156)

Ricardo Romero (205) vs. Kyle Kingsbury (206)

Kenny Robertson (170) vs. Mike Pierce (171)

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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