FORTALEZA, Brazil — Vitor Belfort’s MMA career is coming to an end, and he wants to compete in the last fight of his UFC contract in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The UFC is scheduled to return to Belfort’s hometown of Rio on June 3 with UFC 212, and “The Phenom,” who lost to Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC Fight Night 106 in Fortaleza on Saturday night, confirmed at the post-fight press conference that it would be his last fight.
“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.”
Twenty years after making his UFC debut, Belfort says his body can’t take it anymore.
“It's time to end this chapter as a professional fighter,” Belfort said. “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.”
Belfort said that he had already decided that his next fight would be his last even before facing Gastelum in Fortaleza, and ruled out the idea of rematching Anderson Silva at UFC 212.
“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."