Vitor Belfort opens up about move to ONE Championship, reveals first opponent

Vitor Belfort is preparing for his ONE Championship debut. At 43 years of age, most of us thought Belfort would have finished his career with the UFC, but after fighting out his contract, the mixed martial arts legend opted to write a new chapter with the Singapore-based fight promotion.

Belfort was 19 when he won the heavyweight tournament at UFC 12 in 1997. He defeated Tre Telligman and Scott Ferrozzo in one night. Over the years, he bounced back and forth between other promotions around the world and the UFC, eventually becoming the UFC light heavyweight champion.

After returning to the Octagon in September of 2009, Belfort spent the last 10 years fighting for the UFC. Over that decade, Belfort has fought the likes of Jon Jones, Kelvin Gastelum, Dan Henderson, Jacare Souza, Michael Bisping, Chris Weidman, and many more. Most felt that his last bout, opposite Lyoto Machida, would be his final fight. It very well may have been his final fight in the Octagon, but having given himself some time to recuperate, Belfort is now looking forward to competing in Southeast Asia.

“I saw that ONE Championship was really doing something different than the other organization is doing. So I say okay, now it’s time to explore my vision to what I’m envisioning for the sport,” Belfort told recently.

“I say okay, let me go to a place where Vitor Belfort can really disrupt the industry, and it’s not just him fighting, but how’s he gonna fight, what’s he gonna bring, what are we gonna do.”

Following a tough recovery from shoulder surgery, Belfort said that he is ready to go and will be fighting Alain Ngalani when ONE Championship is able to begin putting on events again once coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

(Video courtesy of Asian MMA)

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