Much of the pre-fight talk for UFC 212 has been tied to the idea that Saturday’s card will mark the last time Vitor Belfort throws hands in the Octagon. But, in a recent interview “The Phenom” did, Belfort sounded pretty interested in returning to the UFC after all…
If you’re somewhat surprised and or confused right now, don’t worry. You should be.
After Belfort was bombed out by Kelvin Gastelum in March, he talked about closing the door on his fighting career, after the final fight of his current UFC deal went down. Then, Belfort revealed he wants to continue competing after UFC 212, but outside the promotion. In addition, his manager even reported that Belfort was eyeing potential bouts with Bellator‘s Chael Sonnnen or Wanderlei Silva.
So what’s the scoop now? Well, Belfort spoke with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto this week, and “The Phenom” reported he’s enjoyed training at Tristar in Montreal immensely. So much so, Belfort had this to say, when he was asked if his scrap against Nate Marquardt this weekend, will indeed be his last in the Octagon:
“No, I don’t feel that way,” Belfort said. “I’ll be OK if this is my last fight, but it feels more like a new beginning.”
The 40 year-old also added this:
“I feel this can be the beginning of more fights in the UFC.”
So, this is pretty interesting news, considering we’ve gone from ‘Belfort’s retiring’, ‘to okay, he’s just leaving the UFC’, to the possibility of him inking a new deal (although, MMA Fighting is reporting that Belfort in fact has one more bout on his UFC deal – Belfort has said, however, that his contract is ending).
Of course, if Belfort gets taken out by Marquardt, chances are we won’t see the Brazilian star in the Octagon again.
UFC 212 will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the HSBC Arena.