(Courtesy of UFC)
Luke Rockhold may currently be much higher in the UFC middleweight pecking order than Vitor Belfort, but that wasn’t always so. Just witness this UFC Knockout of the Week video, where Belfort welcomed the incoming Strikeforce middleweight champion to the Octagon by nearly taking his head off with a spinning hook kick to the head.
Belfort will step into the Octagon opposite fellow Brazilian Lyoto Machida at UFC 224 on May 12 in Rio de Janeiro. Win or lose, the bout is expected to be the final fight of Belfort’s illustrious career.
Belfort made his Octagon debut at UFC 12 in February of 1997 in just the second bout of the then-19-year-old’s career. He has since fought around the globe in nearly every major organization, but he is expected to close his career with the UFC, with whom he rose to prominence as “The Phenom.”