It appears Vitor Belfort suffered an injury before his UFC 224 tilt.
Combate is reporting that “The Phenom” injured his knee just one week into his camp preparation for Lyoto Machida. The injury occurred during sparring when Belfort went for a kick. Doctors revealed that Belfort suffered a Grade II lesion in the left medial ligament. Belfort spoke with three doctors and was advised not to compete, but he did so anyway.
“The Phenom” was knocked out in the second round via front kick. The bout took place inside the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After the bout, Belfort left his gloves inside the Octagon to signal the end of his professional mixed martial arts career.
Belfort leaves the sport with a record of 26-14, 1 NC. He’s earned 18 wins by knockout and three by submission. He is also a former UFC light heavyweight champion and the UFC 12 heavyweight tournament winner.
At the age of 41 and having earned accolades that most can only dream of, Belfort doesn’t have much reason to return to the Octagon or any cage for that matter. While there is no love lost between Belfort and Michael Bisping, “The Phenom” has decided to ride off into the sunset. He is likely due for a UFC Hall of Fame induction sometime down the road.
Belfort’s first professional bout took place back in Oct. 1996. He knocked out Jon Hess in just 12 seconds. “The Phenom” would go on to participate in the UFC 12 heavyweight tournament. Belfort finished Tra Telligman and Scott Ferrozzo to be crowned the UFC 12 heavyweight tournament champion.
In Jan. 2004, Belfort earned a TKO victory over Randy Couture to capture the UFC light heavyweight title. It was the first and only title reign Belfort had in the organization. He lost it back to Couture seven months later.
How do you think Vitor Belfort will be viewed years from now?