Belfort recently returned to Brazil and the “The Phenom” held a press conference in his Rio de Janeiro gym. Belfort was asked to assess his performance, and while doing so, he reported that he dislocated his shoulder prior to the bout (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“I spent too much energy there,” Belfort said. “If I took one step back, waited a little bit, I would have knocked him out. I’m sure I would have knocked him out. But I started to punch with the left hand, didn’t punch too much with the right hand because I dislocated my shoulder, so I wouldn’t be able to throw hard punches. That was his moment. He’s really tough on the ground.”
“You can’t throw a lot of punches and don’t get a bit tired, but it wasn’t my gas that stopped me from fighting,” Belfort said. “When we went to the ground, he used his weight and was able to land punches…”
Belfort’s referring to the fact that early on, he appeared to stun Weidman with hard punch, and then swarmed the champion with punches. The decorated wrestler covered up, shot in, and then proceeded to finish Belfort with ground-and-pound strikes.
So, there you go. Would things have been different if Belfort had been 100%? Maybe, but chances are Weidman and his fans would say the result would have been the same.
Belfort also reportedly said he will not need surgery to repair his shoulder, and the 38 year plans to fight again.
The May 23rd defeat dropped Belfort’s record to 24-11, and ended a three fight winning streak.
Weidman, meanwhile, moved his record to 13-0 and the American is expected to fight Luke Rockhold or “Jacare” Souza later this year.