June 3’s UFC 212 is the last date that Vitor Belfort wants to appear in the UFC’s Octagon. After “The Phenom” was finished by way of TKO by Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of the most recent UFC Fight Night broadcast, he said that he was ready to be done.
The former UFC light heavyweight (205-pound champion) has just one fight left one his current contract and will be 40 years old when the UFC touches down in Rio de Janeiro over the summer.
“It’s time to end this chapter as a professional fighter,” Belfort said at the post-fight press conference. “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 has proposed a “legends division” where fighters would compete under the following modifications to the current Unified Rules of MMA per CBS Sports: “Three-minute rounds with 90 seconds of rest in between. No elbows or knees. Fighting on the ground would be limited to 30 seconds at a time” with three weight classes of light, medium and heavy.
This division seems unlikely and so Belfort is focused on the June pay-per-view being his swan song. The 25-14 legend has competed in the UFC over three runs that date back to 1997’s UFC 12 when Belfort was just 19 years old. He currently has 21 victories by stoppage.
“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…the last fight has to be special for the fans.