Vitor Belfort made a post on social media yesterday that led some people to the conclusion that he was retiring from the sport, but after tributes started pouring in for ‘The Phenom’ he was left with no option to issue another statement explaining that he’d been misunderstood and wasn’t hanging up his gloves after all.
“Who does not recognize your own mistakes is not worthy to lead yourself, even less the people around him.
I recognize that I am far from perfect, I am only human; a human being.
Once a poet in Brazil wrote:
“may love be eternal while it lasts.”
It is a beautiful fragment of a poem, but a truly consider it naive.
If I may and with all do respect, I would re write it like this:
“May love be eternal while we nurture it.”
I confess that I need to nurture my competitive will inside the Octagon. I must cherish that fire inside of me again.
Having recognized that to myself;
I DECIDED TO DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO BURN THAT FLAME AGAIN!
Thanks a lot for all the support and advices. But I decided that I will end this chapter of my life looking at the mirror and recognizing myself.”
Despite his best efforts to be poetic and scholarly, the real intent behind Belfort’s message flew over a lot of people’s heads, with only the last sentence about ending this chapter in his life being seen as an indication that he was calling time on his career, leading to several prominent MMA websites declaring that was in fact the case.
Amidst the confusion, Belfort issued another statement with less flowerly langauge examplaining what he had actually meant.
“I’m not retired. I want to fight again soon.
“I am driven to get back on my feet and honor the nickname I so proudly carry. ‘The Phenom’ is back.”
“I am not pleased with my two last performances and changes are being made. I don’t want to end my career the way it is right now. I want to look at the mirror and recognize myself as the fighter I always have been.
“I have 20 years in this sport, and I intend to honor that legacy.”
The 39 year-old Belfort has lost three of his past four fights in the Octagon, though admittedly they’ve all been against top-flight competition in Chris Weidman, Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza and Gegard Mousasi.
Still, the fact he was TKO’d in all three contests is a cause for concern, and the dip in his level of performance has coincided with TRT exemptions being banned from the sport, which Belfort was known to have used.
Nevertheless, when Belfort does finally retire he will go down as a legendary figure in the sport who will surely end up in the UFC’s ‘Hall Of Fame’, but it seems that’s not going to happen any time soon if ‘The Phenom’ has anything to do with it.