Vitor Belfort is finally ready to call it a career.
The former UFC champion has teased his retirement in the past but ahead of his upcoming bout against Uriah Hall this Sunday night at UFC Fight Night from St. Louis, Belfort has decided that this will be his last walk to the Octagon.
“This is my retirement fight,” Belfort said on “UFC Unfiltered“. “After that, I will put my body to rest.”
Of course this isn’t the first time Belfort has talked about retirement because he mentioned the same thing ahead of his last fight against Nate Marquardt but then opted to stick around afterwards.
By all accounts, Belfort is entering the final fight on his current UFC contract and he’s often talked about the promotion starting some sort of “legends league” where competitors at an older age could still compete without facing young, up and coming talent.
That being said, Belfort seems to be certain that this time really will be the final fight of his career when he steps into the cage on Sunday night.
“This is it breaking news,” Belfort added. “I think life is about seasons. That’s what I like. Brazil, even in Florida, I wish we had seasons, summer, winter, spring. Life is about seasons and you’ve got to know the seasons. I think I did more than enough. Just to think back, sometimes I flash back and I say wow I’m still doing this. This is crazy. I’m very thankful but I think my body needs to rest. I have a business of my own, I developed a group class training system that we’re going to franchise. I just want to help the sport in a way.
“I think we’ve got to know the time to start and we’ve got to know the time to end. It’s about time.”
At 40, Belfort has been competing professionally in mixed martial arts for nearly 22 years after starting his career as a teenager.
Belfort made his first appearance in the UFC back in 1997 and he has been a light heavyweight champion as well as a title contender at middleweight as well.
If this really is his final fight, Belfort will close his career as one of the most tenured members of the UFC roster and almost assuredly a future Hall of Famer considering the laundry list of highlights decorating his resume.