UFC legend Vitor Belfort fought the final fight on his UFC contract on Saturday in his native Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He defeated former Strikeforce champion Nate Marquardt by unanimous decision at Jeunesse Arena on the UFC 212 main card.
During his post-fight interview following his bout against Kelvin Gastelum in March, Belfort hinted at retirement. He later walked those comments back and expressed the desire to continue fighting. The only question was, in what organization?
In an interview on the MMA Ganhador podcast on May 24, Belfort’s manager, Gustavo Lacerda, discussed the possibility that “The Phenom” could end up signing with Bellator MMA.
“What I think it’s possible to imagine is: what does the MMA fan want?” Lacerda said. “He wants to see Vitor vs. Wanderlei [Silva], wants to see Vitor vs. [Chael] Sonnen. He wants these type of fights. And it’s the type of fights that interest us. Vitor doesn’t need to prove anything regarding to ranking or title. The idea is to have fights that are interesting. Interest the fans, and interest the fighter.
“I’m particularly crazy to see Vitor vs. Wanderlei,” he continued. “It’s a fight I’d pay to see. There are fights people want to see, and those are the fights that are interesting. Where it will be, and how it will be, I can’t say anything right now. But they might happen.”
Following his win over Marquardt on Saturday, Belfort declared that he has five fights left before hanging up the gloves. The 40-year-old would like those five fights to be with the UFC.
“I’m very happy with the UFC. That’s the place I want to be,” he said during the event’s post-fight press conference.