As a lot folks speculated would be the case, if Vitor Belfort lost decisively at UFC Fight Night 106, the legendary fighter has outlined plans to exit the sport.
Belfort took on the surging Kelvin Gastelum in the headliner, and after several striking exchanges, he sent the star crashing to the floor. Belfort was able to get back to his feet, but it wasn’t long before Gastelum landing another, pounding left and the fight was over.
During his post-fight, Octagon interview, Belfort told Brian Stann that he plans to fight one more time and complete his UFC deal. Then, during the post-fight press conference, “The Phenom” repeated that his next fight will be his last. Here is some of what Belfort had to say (quote via MMA Fighting):
“Yes,” Belfort said, while confirming his plans to retire after his next bout, “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.”
“It’s time to end this chapter as a professional fighter,” Belfort added. “My body is not the same anymore for training. It’s too much pain. I did more than 14 surgeries. I left everything in the Octagon. I’m sad because I didn’t give the win to my fellow Brazilians, but it happens.”
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, although some might argue that Belfort should just retire now, rather than risk taking more punishment. Really, Belfort has nothing to prove, after 20 years of fighting, and the legend has been stopped now in three consecutive bouts.
It will be interesting to see who the UFC considers for Belfort’s opponent. The latter also said that he doesn’t want to fight a fellow Brazilian in Brazil, for his final bout.