Vitor Belfort racked up another first-round knockout. | Photo: Gleidson Venga/Sherdog.com
Vitor Belfort effortlessly dodged queries about the difference between his TRT-infused knockout of Dan Henderson in 2013 and his presumably more natural effort against the same opponent at UFC Fight Night in Sao Paulo on Saturday.
“I’m still doing TRT. You know the meaning? True Revival Touch,” Belfort quipped following his second first-round knockout of Henderson. “That’s what I’m on right now. I want to thank God for giving me the strength and ability to be who I am. I am who I am.”
However, when asked about who he would like to fight next, “The Phenom” became decidedly less nebulous .
“[Luke Rockhold] is talking a lot. He’s disrespectful,” Belfort said. “He’s talented; he’s a very good kid, but I’ve got my eye on him.”
Of course, Belfort already owns an emphatic triumph over Rockhold, as he stopped the American Kickboxing Academy product with a spinning heel kick and follow-up punches at UFC on Fox 8 in May 2013. Like his first win over Henderson, Belfort defeated Rockhold with the aid of TRT before the treatment was banned in mixed martial arts by athletic commissions.
As a result, the 38-year-old Brazilian’s appearance changed markedly when he returned to action earlier this year to challenge Chris Weidman for the middleweight belt, and a less muscular Belfort fell to the reigning champion via technical knockout in less than three minutes at UFC 187. Rockhold was quite vocal in the aftermath, calling Belfort “a joke” after the defeat. He also speculated that Belfort might have still been cheating when he entered the Octagon against Weidman.
Whether a Belfort-Rockhold rematch ever comes to fruition remains to be seen. For now, Rockhold is slated to face Weidman for the 185-pound strap at UFC 194 next month. Belfort, meanwhile, proved that he can be effective without any artificial helpers as he dispatched Henderson in much the same fashion as he did two years earlier.
Regardless of the means, Belfort has cemented himself as one of the UFC’s most dangerous finishers over the course of his controversial career. Case in point: His knockout of “Hendo” moved him past Anderson Silva and into sole possession of first place for most KO/TKO finishes in promotion history.
Still, Belfort isn’t concerned with his legacy.
“Legacy is something that you leave for the next generation. Legacy is not something that you leave for yourself,” he said. “When I fight, when I perform, I don’t try to think, to beat records or anything. I just do because I love [it]. I’m doing this for 20 years. My inspiration and my motivation is beyond that.
“It’s something personal... I’m very thankful got God granted me with good skills. I’ve evolving and I’m trying to get better every day.”