Perhaps the biggest cheers at UFC 142 were reserved for Vitor Belfort who was already a big star in Brazil prior to last night’s event, and his first round submission win over Anthony Johnson will only have further endeared him to the millions watching live on Globo TV last night in the region.
Backstage shortly after the fight Belfort, who’s right eye was completely sealed shut thanks to his heavy-handed opponent, revealed that he knew Johnson would break before him.
“There are only two ways to give up. Either I give up…and I’ll never give up, or I die. So that’s our mentality, we go to the end.
I put up a pace, i didn’t stop the fight. Anthony’s a very strong guy, he was keep shooting on me…I block…he took me down a couple times, but I kept the pressure and made him give up. That was the plan. Make him quit, or knock him out.”
Belfort was full of praise for his fans after the fight, and was keen to stress that despite the fervent support in the Rio arena for him, that he was doing this for all his supporters around the world.
“It was just another day in the gym. But today, it was a big gym with the whole country behind me, all the United States behind me. I have a lot of history with the UFC. I have fans all over the world, so they are the most important thing after god, my family.”
The former champion also couldn’t help but take a slight dig at his opponent for his failure to make weight for their encounter.
“You know, the guy was not even professional. he didn’t even make weight. Not even close. He was 197lbs yesterday. We understand, some people they cannot make this, this is a hard job.”
Finally, Belfort made it clear that he has a strong bond with the UFC and is just happy to be able to play his part in the organization.
“I give my life to these guys. Dana, Lorenzo and all the employees. I know how hard everybody works, so, so do I. I work inside and outside the cage – it’s a pleasure.”
Watch the full interview below.