Vitor Belfort has credited a move to the renowned Tristar gym for stirring his will to keep fighting, but following his win over fellow veteran Nate Marquardt at UFC 212, the time is right for “The Phenom” to retire.
If you followed Belfort leading up to his contest with Marquardt, then you know the Brazilian star’s plans for his fighting career have been in flux. After Belfort lost to Kelvin Gastelum in March, he said his next bout would be his last. Then Belfort reported that he wanted to keep fighting, but that he’d do so outside of the UFC. During fight week, however, the decorated fighter left the door open to more bouts with the world’s biggest promotion.
Well, “The Phenom” did end a three-fight winless streak on Saturday, by earning a decision win over Nate Marquardt, but it was far from a decisive affair. In fact, the decision could have gone the other way, and not too many folks likely would have disagreed.
After the win, Belfort said he plans to continue fighting, as he relayed earlier this week. But should he?
Now, at the end of the day, it’s up to Belfort and his family whether the 40-year-old should continue to fight. But, really, the timing is right, and one could even argue perfect, for “The Phenom” to hang up the gloves.
It’s been quite evident in Belfort’s recent outings that his hand speed and explosiveness are no longer the same. The middleweight showed glimpses of his finishing prowess during his bout with Marquardt, but at the end of the day, he was unable to add another stoppage to his resume. For much of the fight, Belfort appeared reluctant to pull the trigger. In some respects, he’s fortunate that his winless streak wasn’t extended to four.
So, when you consider where Belfort’s at in his career, and what transpired at UFC 212, it certainly seems like this is the right time to hang up the gloves. The star earned a win in Rio de Janeiro, in front of adoring fans, on the heels of three straight one-sided losses.
At this stage of the game, “The Phenom” has absolutely nothing left to prove, so why not head into the MMA sunset riding on a win? Rather than retire after another stoppage defeat, like so many other legends have?
What do you think? Should Belfort continue to fight?