Vitor Belfort is a former UFC Heavyweight champion, a former UFC Light Heavyweight champion, a former Cage Rage Light Heavyweight champion, and a former two-time UFC Middleweight runner-up.
Vitor Vieira Belfort
26 Wins // 14 Losses // 0 Draws // 1 No Contests
Vitor Belfort is currently 43 years old according to his date of birth April 1, 1977.
5 ft 11 in or 180 cm
185 lbs (84 kg)
74 inches (190 cm)
MMA, Boxing, BJJ, Shotokan, Muay Thai
UFC, retired in 2018
Team: Tristar Gym
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Despite starting as a grappling specialist, Vitor Belfort has built his name as one of the fastest punchers in the history of UFC. He had the precision and power of boxing champions, and that is the reason why he was compared to Vinny Pazienza and Oscar De La Hoya multiple times. His strongest weapons in the stand-up fight are straight punches and left hook. The Phenom usually throws left high kick to the opponent’s face.
In the clinch, Vitor Belfort mostly holds the opponent’s head and delivers a left uppercut or a knee to the head. He stays away from throws and tries to keep the fight standing. On the ground, he prefers punches and elbows until the fight is stopped.
Vitor Belfort is a black belt in BJJ, a black belt in Judo, and a purple belt in Shotokan Karate. He has only three victories via submission in his whole career. Belfort keeps his guard very wide, which leaves him vulnerable to front kicks and straight punches. His submission defense is also critical.
Road To The Top
Vitor Belfort had his MMA debut versus Jon Hess at SuperBrawl 2 on October 11, 1996, and he won the fight after only 12 seconds via KO. It was the fastest knockout of his career.
Vitor Belfort – UFC Career
The Phenom had his debut at UFC 12 Heavyweight Tournament, where he defeated Tra Telligman at February 7, 1997, via first-round TKO. On the same day, Belfort earned a victory over Scott Ferrozzo via TKO and won the tournament.
Despite Tank Abbott was “the supreme puncher” at that time, Belfort cleared him off the octagon at UFC 13 on May 30, 1997, after only 52 seconds!
At UFC 15, The Phenom faced Randy Couture on October 17, 1997, in a UFC Heavyweight title eliminator fight. Couture won via TKO.
Belfort then won Joe Charles at UFC 15.5 on December 21, 1997, via armbar.
UFC 17.5, held on October 16, 1998, will be remembered forever by Belfort’s flurry of punches and a knockout victory over Wanderlei Silva after only 44 seconds! It was also Belfort’s Light Heavyweight debut.
The Phenom had few PRIDE fights later. He was defeated to Kazushi Sakuraba, but he won some notable names like Heath Herring and Gilbert Yvel.
Vitor Belfort – Second UFC Run
Vitor Belfort returned to Light Heavyweight division at the main event of UFC 37.5 on June 22, 2002, where he was defeated to Chuck Liddell via unanimous decision.
The Phenom defeated Marvin Eastman at UFC 43 on June 6, 2003, via TKO (knees and punches).
Vitor Belfort – Light Heavyweight Title Shot And Loss
Vitor Belfort fought Randy Couture in a rematch at the main event of UFC 46 on January 31, 2004. After 49 seconds Belfort cut Couture open and the doctor stopped the fight. The Brazilian won Light Heavyweight division.
Two rivals met again at the main event of UFC 49 on August 21, 2004, but this time Couture dominated him with takedowns and amazing ground and pound. Couture won via doctor stoppage at the end of the third round, and The Phenom lost the title.
Belfort is defeated to Tito Ortiz at the main event of UFC 51 on February 5, 2005, via controversial split decision.
He fought in few minor promotions later, where was defeated by Alistair Overeem twice and Dan Henderson once. But he won Matt Lindland in a spectacular way!
Vitor Belfort – Steroid Controversy
After his loss to Hendo on October 21, 2006, Belfort was tested positive for an illegal substance, 4-hydroxytestosterone. Despite Belfort claimed the doctor gave him post-surgical injections that could contain testosterone without his knowledge, he was suspended for six months from the date of the fight and fined $10,000 by NSAC.
Vitor Belfort – Third UFC Run
The Phenom returned again at UFC 103, where he defeated Rich Franklin in the Light Heavyweight division on September 19, 2009, earning his first Knockout Of The Night award.
Vitor Belfort Vs Anderson Silva – UFC Middleweight Title Shot
The two should initially face at UFC 108 but the fight was canceled since Anderson Silva wasn’t recovered from the injury. The fights were slated for UFC 109 and UFC 112 but it was delayed again due to Silva’s surgery and Belfort’s injury.
In the end, the two fought at the main event of UFC 126, on February 5, 2011. After one minute of stalemate, The Spider kicked Belfort with the left front kick to the head and knocked him out in the first round.
Vitor Belfort defeated Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 133 on August 6, 2011, earning his second Knockout Of The Night award.
His next rival was Anthony Johnson, who weighed 197 pounds at the day of the weigh-in. The two fought at UFC 142 on January 14, 2012. Belfort easily won via rear-naked choke.
Vitor Belfort – Hand Injury
Belfort should face Wanderlei Silva in a rematch at UFC 147 but he pulled out citing broken hand as a reason.
Vitor Belfort Vs Jon Jones – Title Shot
At UFC 152, Belfort faced Jon Jones in the UFC Light Heavyweight title fight, on September 22, 2012. Despite the awesome performance, Jones defeated him via Americana in the fourth round.
His next rival was Michael Bisping at the main event of UFC On FX 7, on January 19, 2013. The Phenom won via left high kick at 1:27 in the first round, earning his third Knockout Of The Night award.
The Phenom had the most attractive KO of his career versus Luke Rockhold at the main event of UFC On FX 8, on May 18, 2013. Belfort landed a left spinning heel kick to the opponent’s face and ended the fight with the flurry of punches. He also won his fourth Knockout Of The Night award.
At UFC Fight Night 32, on November 9, 2013, The Phenom revenged to Dan Henderson for the previous loss, landing a left high kick to his face. The fight was held in Light Heavyweight division, and Vitor Belfort earned his fifth Knockout Of The Night award.
Vitor Belfort Vs Chris Weidman – UFC Middleweight Title Shot
The two should face at UFC 173 but Belfort chose to withdraw from the fight since NSAC put a ban on exemptions for testosterone replacement therapy. The Phenom later said he had failed a random drug test in February.
Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort should face at UFC 181 but Weidman withdrew due to a broken hand. Weidman pulled out of UFC 184 due to the same reason, so the fight was rescheduled for UFC 187, on May 23, 2015. Belfort landed a flurry of punches in the first minute of the fight but Weidman survived, took him down, established the mount and ended the fight via first-round TKO.
Belfort defeated Dan Henderson via left head kick at UFC Fight Night 77 on November 7, 2015.
Ronaldo Souza defeated The Phenom at UFC 198 on May 14, 2016, via first-round TKO.
Gegard Mousasi rocked Vitor Belfort hard at UFC 204 on October 8, 2016, via stunning right high kick. Mousasi was constantly landing punches and Belfort fell on the ground. The Brazilian competitor did nothing for 30 seconds and the referee had to stop the fight and claim Mousasi the winner.
Vitor Belfort Vs Kelvin Gastelum – No Contest
The two faced at the main event of UFC Fight Night 106, on March 11, 2017. Kelvin Gastelum delivered brutal punching combo, sent Vitor Belfort to the ground and originally won the fight via first-round TKO. However, Gastelum was tested positive for marijuana and the fight is overturned to no contest.
The Phenom defeated Nate Marquardt at UFC 212 on June 3, 2017, via unanimous decision.
Vitor Belfort should fight Uriah Hall at UFC Fight Night 124 but Hall had health issues due to weight cut practice and the fight was canceled. At first, Belfort claimed the fight with Machida is his last fight but he is not retiring.
In the last fight of his career, Vitor Belfort fought Lyoto Machida at UFC 224 on May 12, 2018, in his birth city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Lyoto won via front kick in the second round, but The Phenom fought with a severe knee injury.
Vitor Belfort – Retirement
As soon as the fight with Lyoto Machida ended, Vitor Belfort announced his retirement from MMA competition. He was rewarded by a tremendous applause.
Vitor Belfort is married to Joana Prado, with whom he has three children. They started dating in 2000, broke up but repatched in 2002. He is a devoted Christian who believes the key to his longevity and success in sports is the fact he is happy with what he does. He speaks Portuguese, English, and Spanish.
His sister Priscila Belfort disappeared on January 9, 2004. A woman named Elaine Paiva and three other persons were arrested and accused of her murder and kidnapping in August 2007. Priscila’s remains were never found.
Vitor Belfort – Social Media Profiles
- Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/vitorbelfort/
- Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/vitorbelfort/
- Twitter – https://twitter.com/vitorbelfort
- Official Website – http://www.vitorbelfort.com/pt-br/