Vitor Belfort is retiring at UFC 224 — but maybe not forever

Vitor Belfort, Brock Lesnar

At UFC 224, which goes down on May 12 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, MMA legend Vitor Belfort will compete in the final fight of his career opposite another Brazilian hero in Lyoto Machida. Yet while Belfort has assured for some time that this will be his last fight, it doesn’t sound like that is completely set in stone.

“It’s what I said: in reality, it will be my final fight and my journey is ending,” Belfort told MMAJunkie. “But [there’s] nothing that a good contract – what, seven digits? – can’t do in terms of helping us return. I’ll keep training. I love doing this. But there needs to be a meaning. There needs to be a purpose and it needs to be something that makes sense.”

“If, after this, I can sit own with UFC President Dana White and the new owners – if they have something to offer and they can hear me and we can come to an agreement, it will be great,” Belfort elaborated.

It’s hard to say what kind of offer would be required to coax the legend Belfort out of his planned retirement. That said, it does sound like he still harbors a bit of resentment toward former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping.

Belfort recently called for a rematch with Bisping, but was emphatically shut down by the Brit. Even though Belfort has defeated Bisping before, this seems to have left a bad taste in his mouth.

“He’s a coward,” Belfort said. “That Englishman is a coward. I’d never seen a coward Englishman before. He took a blow, got stunned, and he has his lame excuses, you know. Leave him with his arrogance over there in England.”

Do you think Vitor Belfort should stay retired after his UFC 224 showdown with Lyoto Machida, or would you be interested in seeing him compete again?

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/29/2018.