Vitor Belfort: I Couldn’t Pull Out Of My Retirement Fight At UFC 224

Vitor Belfort sends a message to his adoring fans

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Belfort vs Machida
Image Credit: Leo Correa/AP

During the first week of his UFC 224 training camp, before his fight against Lyoto Machida, Vitor Belfort suffered a knee injury and was advised to pull out of his fight by doctors.

Vitor Belfort decided to go against doctors advice and face Machida at UFC 224. Belfort suffered a devastating knockout at the hands of the man known as “The Dragon”, but he takes full ownership of his decision to compete.

Vitor Belfort took to Instagram to post a lengthy message to his fans. He explained that he did not want to miss out on the opportunity to retire and fight one last time in his hometown of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

With the intention to be as honest as I can be with my fans and specially with my opponent, I will go straight to the point. The injured that happened with me during the training camp somehow made the news. My team nor I had mentioned before, during or after the fight. Winning or losing, fighting injured or not; it is part of an athlete’s life. I’m not the first one nor will be the last one athlete to fight injured. Even though all the limitations imposed to me because of the injured I suffered. It is my decision to step into the octagon or not. And I decided to do it! I did not want to miss the chance to have my last fight at the UFC; in my country, my hometown and with a such respected opponent. I gave my best on the fight and my opponent was the better man that night. And this is what counts! Nothing that happened with me during the training camp takes anything away from his victory. Of course wasn’t the outcome I wished for. Not because of the defeat, because we can’t control the outcome. What bothers me is knowing that I performed bellow of what I know that I can. I literally grew up in the cage, I was wrought to be a fighter, to leave it all in the cage… and this teachings I brought to all the aspects of my life. Dedicated every minute, every second doing the best you can in whatever you’re committed to. To the ones genuinely concerned with me, I will tell you this: I feel like an injured Lion. To the haters and envious, I will tell you this: I might be injured, BUT I’M STILL A LION! See you all very soon…

A post shared by Vitor "The Phenom" Belfort (@vitorbelfort) on

“With the intention to be as honest as I can be with my fans and specially with my opponent, I will go straight to the point. The injured that happened with me during the training camp somehow made the news. My team nor I had mentioned before, during or after the fight.

Winning or losing, fighting injured or not; it is part of an athlete’s life. I’m not the first one nor will be the last one athlete to fight injured. Even though all the limitations imposed to me because of the injured I suffered. It is my decision to step into the octagon or not. And I decided to do it!

I did not want to miss the chance to have my last fight at the UFC; in my country, my hometown and with a such respected opponent. I gave my best on the fight and my opponent was the better man that night. And this is what counts!

Nothing that happened with me during the training camp takes anything away from his victory.

Of course wasn’t the outcome I wished for. Not because of the defeat, because we can’t control the outcome. What bothers me is knowing that I performed bellow of what I know that I can.

I literally grew up in the cage, I was wrought to be a fighter, to leave it all in the cage… and this teachings I brought to all the aspects of my life. Dedicated every minute, every second doing the best you can in whatever you’re committed to.

To the ones genuinely concerned with me, I will tell you this: I feel like an injured Lion.

To the haters and envious, I will tell you this: I might be injured, BUT I’M STILL A LION!

See you all very soon…”

Vitor Belfort will forever be known as an MMA legend and he will certainly have a place in the UFC’s Hall of Fame. His 22 years of MMA service will always be remembered. He may have been injured in the lead up to his retirement fight, but Belfort showed the true warrior inside of him by competing regardless and putting on a show for his adoring fans.

What was your favourite Vitor Belfort moment?

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