Vitor Belfort Enlists Karate Champion, Chute Boxe Veteran to Help Prepare for Henderson

By Marcelo Alonso Sep 24, 2015
Vitor Belfort has relocated his training camp. | Dave Mandel/

As he prepares for his trilogy with Dan Henderson at UFC Fight Night in Sao Paulo on Nov. 7, Vitor Belfort has reunited with an old coach.

Vinicio Antony, a fifth degree black belt in Shotokan karate and a former Pan-American karate champion in 1995, has been in Florida helping “The Phenom” during his camp. Before Lyoto Machida popularized the art in the UFC, Antony was considered the No. 1 Brazilian karate fighter of ‘90s. Antony already has plenty of previous experience training Belfort.

“Actually I never stopped training Belfort,” Antony told “Whenever he comes to Brazil we train. But now Vitor is in a crucial moment of his career and asked me to be present.”

Belfort is holding his camp for the Henderson bout at OTB Fight, an exclusive new training center in Boca Raton, Fla.

“The structure is amazing, and we are doing a great camp. You can bet Henderson´s retirement [on that],” Antony said with a laugh. “Jokes aside, you can expect a stronger Vitor, faster and more motivated. We are training to significantly increase his cardio capacity, speed reaction and striking power.”

Belfort also imported another reinforcement for his camp: Chute Boxe veteran Cassiano Ricardo Castanho de Freitas. Even at 27 years old, de Freitas is considered one of the most experienced welterweights in Brazil with 37 fights.

“When Vitor came to Chute Boxe/Diego Lima in Sao Paulo to promote his fight two weeks ago, we trained and talked a lot,” de Freitas said. “He said he liked my style and invited me to help him with his camp.”

In addition to Antony and de Freitas, Belfort has also been training alongside Gilbert Burns, who will face Rashid Magomedov on the same card.

“That will be the clash of the legends. Belfort and Henderson are two of the most respected fighters in MMA history, and it´s such an honor for me to fight on the same card as them,” Burns said.


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