The reports of the death of Vitor Belfort’s career have been greatly exaggerated. In truth, reports that Belfort had announced his retirement were a misinterpretation.
Belfort posted to Instagram on Saturday, including a line that said, “I decided that I will end this chapter of my life looking at the mirror and recognizing myself.”
Many seemed to take that as an affirmation of the rumor that ran rampant before his UFC 204 bout with Gegard Mousasi that he was going to join Dan Henderson in retiring following the fight.
Being 39 years of age, having fought professionally for 20 years, and having lost to Mousasi via TKO stoppage, Belfort couldn’t be blamed for deciding that enough was enough, but that’s not what he said. Although he did say, “I decided that I will end this chapter of my life,” a more telling sentence was completely overlooked.
Belfort also said, “I DECIDED TO DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO BURN THAT FLAME AGAIN!”
That doesn’t exactly scream retirement.
Reached for comment, Belfort told MMAJunkie.com definitively, “I’m not retired. I want to fight again soon.
“I am not pleased with my two last performances and changes are being made. I don’t want to end my career the way it is right now. I want to look at the mirror and recognize myself as the fighter I always have been.”
Belfort’s career is currently in a bit of a slump. “The Phenom” has lost his two most recent bouts. His loss to Mousasi was preceded by a loss to Jacare Souza. That brings his record to 1-3 in his last four fights, the other loss being to former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman.
Losing to those three men is nothing to be ashamed of, but Belfort has fought against the best in the sport his entire career, and he’s not used to losing. It now appears that he’s not ready to go out on a losing note.
“I have 20 years in this sport, and I intend to honor that legacy.”