Vitor Belfort says his ONE Championship debut was in the works before the coronavirus pandemic took hold.
Belfort revealed that his debut was nearly finalized in an interview with MMA Junkie.
“So my agent has been taking to Chatri [Sityodtong] to finalize a fight, but then all of this came along,” Belfort told MMA Junkie. “It’s crazy. Everything is put on hold, but I’m definitely looking forward to step back into action and bring something (new), reinvent myself again. I think that will be the last time and for sure, I’m excited to go back to action.”
While Belfort did not divulge who he was going to fight, ONE Championship heavyweight Alain Ngalani recently told South China Morning Post that he was in talks to fight Belfort, so perhaps that’s the matchup we were going to get before the pandemic hit.
“Well, I had a call from Chatri at the beginning of the year, and we were preparing for what he said was the biggest fight for me, the biggest of the year,” Ngalani told South China Morning Post. “It was to be announced, but then because of the virus everything has been on hold.
“I don’t really want to mention it right now because it’s still under negotiation, so I don’t want to throw it out there, but there has been talk for me first to go into a super fight,” he said. “There’s a few names. Among others, we have Vitor Belfort who is a megastar and it would be a pleasure for me and a huge fight for me to have with him. But nothing is sure yet.
“This is a once in a lifetime thing. Personally Vitor Belfort has been a megastar for me and a huge, huge, huge influence. It’s an honour if ever I have to cross him.”
Vitor Belfort has not fought since he was knocked out by Lyoto Machida in May, 2018. This bout marked his final UFC appearance. He later signed with ONE, but has yet to make his debut.
Alain Ngalani, who is a first and foremost a kickboxer and Muay Thai competitor, is 4-5 in MMA. In his last fight, he was knocked out by former Cage Warriors heavyweight champ Mauro Cerilli.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/20/2020.