Vitor Belfort has confirmed that his legendary MMA career is almost at an end after his TKO loss to Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Fight Night 106 in Brazil last night.
Speaking at the post-fight press conference, the 39-year-old told reporters that his intention was to see out the final fight of his contract and then hang up his gloves unless the UFC takes him up on his suggestion to make a ‘legends league’ for aging fighters like himself.
“em>“Yes,” Belfort confirmed of ihs impending retirement, “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. 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.”
This was Belfort’s fourth TKO loss in his past five fights and having now been competing professionally for over 20-years, he admits that his body is no longer able to take the strain.
“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.”
As for his final fight, Belfort is adamant that it take place in his native Brazil, while he’s also made it clear he doesn’t want to fight anyone from his home country – ruling out a rematch with Anderson Silva.
“I don’t have any names off the top of my head. 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.”