Vitor Belfort knows the end of his mixed martial arts career is close, and he has a pretty good idea of where and when he’d like his swan song to be.
Belfort lost in emphatic fashion at UFC Fight Night 106, as he was knocked down twice en route to suffering a first-round technical knockout loss to Kelvin Gastelum in the evening’s headliner at the Olympic Training Center in Fortaleza, Brazil, on Saturday. “The Phenom” has now lost four of his last five bouts since 2015, with all of those defeats coming via knockout or technical knockout.
“I have one more fight in my contract,” Belfort said. “I would very much like it it to be in Rio. Defeat is part of the job, it was not a nice night for me.”
Belfort is referring to the UFC 212, which takes place on June 3 as HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro and is headlined by a featherweight title tilt between Jose Aldo and Max Holloway. Should his request be granted, Belfort confirmed that he would he would not seek another UFC contract after that bout.
“I really want to finish my career as a professional athlete,” he said. “This year marks 20 years of my career since I won the belt.”
However, Belfort would stick around if the UFC were to create a so-called “Legends” division, which he already proposed prior to Saturday night. The 39-year-old already has several ideas in place for such a league, including three-minute rounds, no knees or elbows and 90 seconds in between periods. Additionally, he said there would be three weight classes in the division: light, medium and heavy.
“I’m sure if the legends division were to happen in the UFC, it would revolutionize the sport,” he said.
For now, Belfort is simply focused on finishing out his career in the current version of the UFC. While some have proposed a rematch with Anderson Silva in Rio de Janeiro, Belfort would rather not face one of his countrymen in his final Octagon appearance.
“I don’t want to fight in Rio against a Brazilian on the last fight of my contract,” he said.