Vitor Belfort Says He Will Leave UFC, But Isn’t Retiring

It seems that veteran fighter Vitor Belfort won’t be retiring after all after his fight with Nat Marquardt at UFC 212 on June 3rd.

The 40-year-old Belfort had previously seemed to suggest that he was going to hang up his gloves after the fight if the UFC wasn’t prepared to start up a ‘legends league’ for veteran fighters like himself to compete in.

However, though the UFC appeared to have no interest in that idea, it seems ‘The Phenom’ has now had a change of heart.

“(I will) leave the UFC, but I’ll continue competing,” Belfort told Veja Rio. “Fight is my passion. Too bad that MMA hasn’t become a serious sport yet. Maybe I’ll help change this scenario.”

Belfort went on to express his disappointment that these days MMA appears to be more about people’s personalities than their fighting ability.

“Today, a fighter is more artist than athlete,” Belfort said. “The UFC is a show, not a sport. It’s sad to see new fighters wanting to drive the card of the moment or be in the spotlight like Conor McGregor. Their reference is to have, not to be.”

Belfort has recently admitted himself that he’s not the fighter he once was, suffering from the aches and pains you would expect from over 20 years of fighting professionally, but nevertheless, there’s no doubt that there would be no shortage of offers for him to continue competing if he does leave the UFC behind.

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.