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UFC planning Silva-Belfort Jan. 2

September 25, 2009 |  3:16 pm

Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White told The Times his organization has struck verbal deals for Anderson Silva to defend his middleweight championship against Vitor Belfort on Jan. 2 in Las Vegas.

Belfort, a former UFC champion, returned to the octagon Saturday to defeat former champion Rich Franklin in Dallas.

Silva has emerged as the most elite fighter in the UFC, most recently disposing of former light-heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin.

-- Lance Pugmire