Former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort will be returning to the cage in 2017, just five months after his second round TKO loss to Gegard Mousasi on the main card of UFC 204 back in October.
Following the fight, there were reports that Belfort was planning to retire given his dismal 2-3 record over the course of his last 5 fights, which most recently featured a 2-fight losing streak. Belfort took to Instagram following the fight with a message many took to mean that he was retiring, however the MMA vet was quick to explain that he was not retiring, but rather bringing back ‘The Phenom’.
Now, word has surfaced from Combate that Belfort will be returning to the Octagon on March 11th in Fortalea, Brazil, where he will meet Kelvin Gastelum, who recently made his successful middleweight debut at UFC 206 this past weekend when he TKOd Tim Kennedy on the PPV portion of the Toronto-based card.
While Belfort will be entering the bout on a 2-fight skid which has seen him drop back to back TKO losses, Gastelum will be entering the bout on a 2-fight win streak that saw him pick up a win over former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks at UFC 200 before he was pulled from his UFC 205 scrap with Donald Cerrone due to an inability to make weight at welterweight. Following the mishap, which marked the third time in his UFC career that the TUF winner had missed weight, UFC President Dana White forced Gastelum to move up to middleweight, where he picked up his first win this past weekend.