Vitor Belfort was supposed to have fought Uriah Hall at UFC Fight Night 124 on Sunday night in St. Louis, a bout that was supposed to serve as his retirement fight. Despite “The Phenom” having made weight and Hall falling out of the fight due to medical issues stemming from his botched weight cut, Belfort will not be paid his show money.
The fight fell apart on weigh-in day when Hall reportedly suffered a seizure while trying to make weight. He was hospitalized and, obviously, never made it to the scale. Belfort, however, fulfilled his end of the contract, making weight on Saturday during the official weigh-in.
Often times when that happens, the UFC pays the fighter that makes weight his show money, despite the bout being canceled.
Belfort expected as much, posting to Instagram in Portuguese, saying in part, “Now, a message to the UFC. I’m waiting for my payment. After all, did what had to be done (trained, I attended the week of the fight, hit my weight…). Where is the respect !?”
The respect might be there, but the payment is not, and it apparently is not forthcoming.
When UFC president Dana White was asked about Belfort being paid his show money in a post-fight scrum with reporters on Sunday, he said that Belfort would not be paid because he opted not to fight.
“No (he didn’t receive his show money). We offered him a fight, tonight. Vitor could have fought tonight. We got him a fight and offered him a fight; he turned it down. We also got him a fight in Boston and he turned that down, too,” said White.
“Vitor could have fought tonight, he turned it down, and he didn’t want to fight in Boston either.”
Belfort still has a fight left on his contract, which will presumably still be his retirement bout, and he’s already shifted his focus to a new opponent.
White acknowledged on Sunday that Belfort has expressed interest in fighting former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping at UFC London on March 17.
Bisping has indicated that he would like to fight in his home country on the London card, which would likely serve as his retirement bout. He has reportedly not been thrilled with the idea of fighting Belfort though. White, however, said he “isn’t opposed” to the match-up.
“I know that’s the fight (Belfort) wants. He wants to fight Bisping in London,” White said on Sunday night. “We’ll see. I’m not opposed to it, no.”