After Dan Henderson was injured and Jon Jones turned down a fight against Chael Sonnen, Belfort wasn’t the first option. Or even the second, but gets the bout by default.
Lyoto Machida was first offered the title shot he earned by knocking out Ryan Bader at UFC on Fox 4 this past Aug. 4 in Los Angeles. But he turned it down for reasons that are still unknown.
After Machida turned down another chance at Jones, that made Shogun the obvious next choice. Now we know by way of Lorenzo Fertitta that he was offered the bout and for whatever reason decided to turn it down.