Vitor Belfort changed hairstyles following his loss at UFC 187. | Photo: L. Fabri/Sherdog.com
Vitor Belfort returned to Brazil this week after his first-round stoppage loss to middleweight champ Chris Weidman at UFC 187. On Friday, “The Phenom” held a press conference at his FortFit Academy in the Barra de Tijuca neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro.
More than 20 Brazilian news outlets participated in the event, where 38-year-old Belfort answered questions about the fight and his future in mixed martial arts.
“There are no excuses,” said Belfort. “I don’t want to take anything from Weidman, who is a great champion, but of course it was hard to stop thinking about my mistakes after the fight. Maybe if I stepped back and waited a little more, I would have knocked him out. I should have used my experience.”
According to the Nevada Athletic Commission’s medical suspensions, Belfort damaged his left shoulder during the fight. Belfort said the preexisting injury was only made worse when Weidman took him to the ground and set up the eventual finish.
“When he grabbed my leg and took me down, I landed on my shoulder, which was already injured and got out of place. It was such a frustrating moment, but Weidman did a great job on the ground and deserved to win.”
Asked who he feels deserves the next shot at Weidman’s title, Belfort considered countryman Ronaldo Souza but ultimately chose himself for a rematch.
“I see Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ as a very tough opponent for Weidman, but Luke Rockhold has evolved a lot, too. If we follow the rankings, Jacare should be next, but both are in great condition to get the belt,” said Belfort. “I would choose a rematch with me for Weidman. One step back, two blows to the head and another knockdown and I would have beaten the champion.”
Rid of the mohawk which he wore to the cage at UFC 187, Belfort sported a freshly shaved head with a small braid at the press conference. Inspired by the film “The Last Samurai,” Belfort explained that he uses a new haircut for each phase of his life. Belfort also said that he is ready to move into that next phase, and that he plans to take another fight before the end of the year. When asked to choose between a fight with Gegard Mousasi -- who challenged him after the fight -- Anderson Silva or Wanderlei Silva, Belfort would not pick.
“Right now, I choose vacation time with my family.”