A triumphant Vitor Belfort last night backed off talk of retiring following his unanimous decision victory over Nate Marquardt at UFC 212 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“I’ve got five more fights to go guys,” the 40-year-old Belfort said in his post-fight Octagon interview. “You’re going to have to swallow Vitor Belfort. I’m going to reinvent myself and come back different every time.”
This is a change of plans as immediately following his previous fight, which had ended by a first round TKO to Kelvin Gastelum, Belfort had declared that the next time he set foot in the Octagon would be his last.
With that in mind everyone was gearing up to bid ‘The Phenom’ a fond farewell at UFC 212, or at least until Belfort claimed a few weeks ago that his fight with Marquardt would only be his last fight in the Octagon, and that he still planned to fight elsewhere.
However, the UFC later indicated that would not be possible due to the fact that Belfort still has one fight left on his current deal with them.
Now Belfort is talking about having five more fights, and by the sounds of things he wants them to be in the UFC.
“I believe our sport has a lot of room to grow, and UFC is the place,” Belfort said at the post-fight press conference. “And the people there, the new (owners), they’re very smart. I believe we’re going to see big things ahead.”
However, it seems Belfort still has his hopes pinned on a ‘legends league’, which the UFC brass had seemed disinterested in when he first floated the idea a few months ago.
“[The UFC is] the place I want to be, and a lot of things we can change. We can come with the legends league. A lot of things can change.”