Vitor Belfort came up short in another title bid on Saturday night. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort has had a rollercoaster career in mixed martial arts. He’s had great wins and losses, and plenty of drama outside the cage, but after his most recent defeat on Saturday, Belfort vowed to solider on in the sport he loves.
Belfort rocked defending UFC middleweight champ Chris Weidman early in their co-main event bout at UFC 187, but when “The Phenom” couldn’t put away Weidman, the American quickly turned the tides and eventually turned out Belfort’s lights. Weidman scored a takedown and proceeded to unleash a typhoon of elbows and punches until the fight was mercifully stopped.
Belfort looked a little shop-worn, and after being around MMA for almost two full decades, many figured this latest setback could be the end of the road for the popular Brazilian.
“Oh, no,” Belfort said when asked about a possible retirement. “I have a life, a family. I just want to enjoy my life a little bit.
“I’m happy, but I’m very frustrated at the same time,” he added. “I think what’s next is we need to just reset. It was a very tough night for me. I didn’t expect it to go the way that it did, especially when I saw my finish, but he’s the better man. He took it.”
Although Belfort and Weidman exchanged plenty of verbal barbs leading up to their showdown, Belfort praised the New Yorker after the bout and made no excuses for his loss.
“Weidman is the real champion. There is no excuse,” Belfort stated. “I tried to stand-up for five rounds, but I didn’t have it. I’m sorry, guys. I give thanks to God, my family and my friends. That’s life. That’s the key of life, when you get knocked down, you have to get back up again.”
Belfort said he hurt his shoulder in the fight, but he did not blame that injury for his bludgeoning in the first round.
“I think it was when I lost my balance and landed on my hand,” he revealed. “But, it’s part of the sport. It’s nothing serious.”
Belfort did not have a timetable as to when the world will possibly see him in action next, as he continuously told the assembled press that he needs to take a break from the sport to be with his family. He vowed to return, but he wants to heal up and figure out what his next move will be.