Whilst UFC Light Heavweight champion Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida continues his mission to reinstall Karate as a martial art to be reckoned with in modern day MMA, others are now taking note.
After his victory against Rich Franklin at UFC 103 last month Vitor Belfort noted that “My new weapon I’m adding to my game is karate.” Whilst he is not abandoning his other effective striking techniques such as boxing and Muay Thai, he, like Machida, has belief in the benefits that come from the patience, distance and timing that Karate teaches.
It is clear that he is taking this element seriously with Brazilian news outlet Tatame revealing that the figher has now earned his Blue Belt in Karate in Rio De Janeiro. Talking of his achievement Belfort said “It is a very important acquisition for me. We need to have a base in everything we do in life, so I’m creating my base and having a lot of fun”. Belfort, who will fight for the UFC middleweight title against Anderson Silva early next year also holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Other UFC fighters with a background in Karate include established stars such as Georges St. Pierre and Chuck Liddell.