Vitor Belfort: My Next Fight Will Be My Last
MMA legend Vitor Belfort suffered a third consecutive loss on Saturday night, falling to Kelvin Gastelum by first-round TKO in their main event fight in Brazil. After the fight, Belfort revealed that he wanted to fight out the last bout on his UFC contract in June when the promotion returns to Rio.
UFC 212 takes place in Rio on June 3, and "The Phenom" wants to fight for the last time in his home country.
“Yes,” Belfort said when asked if he will retire after his next fight, “unless they create this legends’ division, then we can continue a little longer. But training for five-round fights is too much for the body. I was in great shape, but he connected some good strikes and it was his night.”
“I was well prepared, my team worked hard,” he continued. “It’s frustrating because I was well until one moment, I was confident I was going to get the knockout, and it was the opposite. But that’s it. We need to reinvent ourselves. It wasn’t the first and it won’t be the last. I mean, I hope it’s the last.”
Belfort made his UFC debut twenty years ago at UFC 12. His career has been full of ups and downs, including a late resurgence in 2013 where he earned his last title shot.
After losing a middleweight title fight to Chris Weidman in 2015, Belfort knocked out Dan Henderson in Sao Paulo. That was his last win in the cage, as he lost three straight to Jacare Souza, Gegard Mousasi and now Gastelum, all losses coming by TKO/KO in under two rounds.
As for who Belfort will fight in his final bout, his only request is that he doesn’t take on a fellow Brazilian — ruling out a rematch with fellow aging legend Anderson Silva.
“I don’t have any names off the top of my head,” Belfort said. “I just don’t want to fight a Brazilian in Brazil. We have to sit down with the UFC and see which opponent would be an interesting fight. I never turned down fights, always fought the toughest ones in the division, but the last fight has to be special for the fans. Let’s see if that’s possible."