Former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort will battle against Lyoto Machida this Saturday (May 12, 2018) at UFC 224 inside Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The 41-year-old Brazilian says while he’s not retiring, but this will be the final fight of his illustrious career.
“This is my last fight,” Belfort told MMAjunkie in a pre-fight interview. “That’s important because people say, ‘OK, what’s the legacy you’re leaving?’ Legacy is not what I did for myself. It’s what I’m doing for the next generation. So I think I’m leaving one of the biggest legacies in the sport, for sure, worldwide.”
“But this is my last fight, for sure, and I’m very content with what I accomplished in this sport,” he added. “But I still believe I can contribute so much with the sport, and I love what the UFC is doing, creating the (UFC Performance Institute) and creating all that. But we have so much left to do.”
“I’m not retiring because when you retire, you’re still getting paid. I’m not getting paid, so I’m not retiring,” Belfort said. “I’m looking for jobs. I’m looking for opportunities.”
Belfort holds a professional record of 26-13 with one UFC Light Heavyweight title reign to his credit and won his last outing against Nate Marquardt at UFC 212 in June 2017. In his storied career, Belfort competed in most of the major MMA organizations across the globe and captured the UFC light heavyweight title back in 2004 and fought for both the middleweight and light heavyweight titles against all-time greats Anderson Silva and Jon ‘Bones’ Jones.
After three consecutive losses, Machida Lyoto (23-8) recently earns a win over Eryk Anders in February.
UFC 224 will headline by Amanda Nunes and Raquel Pennington for the UFC Bantamweight Championship fight.