Thursday, December 1, 2022

Vitor Belfort Signs With ONE Championship

Vitor Belfort is officially a ONE Championship athlete.

The last time Vitor Belfort competed, it appeared to be his last. Last May, Belfort was knocked out by Lyoto Machida when the two squared off in their home country of Brazil, and Belfort announced after the bout that he was retiring from the sport of mixed martial arts. As some suspected, that retirement did not last long.

ONE Championship CEO and Chairman Chatri Sityodtong announced the signing via Twitter Thursday (Feb. 28) evening:

“BREAKING NEWS: I am thrilled to announce that UFC Legend Vitor Belfort is now a ONE Championship athlete! A former UFC Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion, Vitor holds the record for the most KOs in UFC history as well as the 2nd most finishes. #WeAreONE”

This news was not completely out of the blue. It was reported earlier this week that Belfort and ONE championship were nearing finalizing a deal. And even months prior, Belfort said on “The Ariel Helwani MMA Show” last December that he did intend to continue fighting. The only question was when and where? While we do not yet know when Belfort will make his ONE Championship debut, we now know where the new home for the legend will be.

This signing marks the latest of a recent wave of UFC alum signings, including long-reigning flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, former lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, upstart Sage Nortchutt, and Yushin Okamoto.

The 41-year old Belfort is a former UFC heavyweight champion and during his illustrious career, picked up victories over names like Dan Henderson, Luke Rockhold, Michael Bisping, Rich Franklin, Anthony Johnson, and many others. Belfort’s current record sits at 26-14-1.

What do you think of Vitor Belfort’s decision to continue fighting and sign with ONE Championship?