Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort have had their fair share of differences in the past, stemming from their intense rivalry leading up to their fight at UFC 126.

But in a recent interview with AG Sport, Silva praised his old adversary for having the courage to make the transition from Mixed Martial Arts to Boxing so late in his combat sports career.

“Vitor is a great athlete, a great fighter,” Silva said. “Anything is possible. Vitor is a super talent, he’s a guy who, for sure, will be very successful in boxing. I think it’s a new era of entertainment in terms of combat, and it’s been really cool for everyone. Good luck to Vitor in this endeavor. I’m sure he will be very successful,”

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Belfort recently revealed his intentions to switch from MMA to Boxing during a recent appearance at Floyd Mayweather’s academy. Belfort was signed by ONE Championship nearly two years ago but about never materialized for his anticipated debut in the promotion.

Silva announced his retirement from the UFC and a switch to Boxing recently as well, and is scheduled to fight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on June 16th in Mexico.

Silva is widely considered one of the greatest UFC fighters of all time but had a rough stint towards the end of his career in the promotion. He lost seven of his last nine UFC fights including a TKO loss to Uriah Hall at UFC Vegas 12.

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Belfort originally announced his retirement from MMA after falling to Lyoto Machida at UFC 224, before coming out of retirement just a year later. Belfort holds the records for most knockouts in UFC history (12), and became the youngest UFC tournament winner at age 19 by securing the UFC heavyweight tournament win over Scott Ferrozzo back at UFC 12.

Despite their tense back-and-forth in the past, it’s nice to see Silva and Belfort show respect to each other as they begin a new venture in their careers. It’ll be interesting to see how the two elite strikers perform in Boxing.

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How do you think Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort will fare in Boxing?

Curtis Calhoun is a Combat Sports Contributor based in Seattle, Washington. After a longtime dream of becoming a sports journalist, he was able to accomplish his goals upon graduating from Washington State University in 2016.