Vitor Belfort’s brief retirement from mixed martial arts isn’t going to stick.
The former UFC champion revealed during an interview on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday that he is in talks with various organizations in hopes of a comeback next year.
“I’m going to keep going — not stopping. I am a free agent," Belfort said. "We are in conversation [with promotions]. In 2019 I will come back.”
“The Phenom” stated prior to his UFC 224 meeting with Lyoto Machida in May that it would be his last fight. Belfort lost to Machida via second-round knockout in Rio Janeiro to conclude his tenure with the Las Vegas-based promotion. The 41-year-old had won just two of his last seven Octagon appearances.
Belfort didn’t rule out signing a new UFC contract, but the Brazilian also expressed interest in organizations such as One Championship, Bellator and Rizin.
“I could not choose a better time for me to be a free agent and what I can bring to the table,” Belfort said. “I’m looking to add value and what I’m really looking for – I see that we need a change. I’m a fighter and an athlete.”
Belfort said that he underwent successful shoulder surgery following UFC 224, and with improved health came a renewed desire to fight.