Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Vitor Belfort was knocked out in the second round of his final fight against another former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion in Lyoto Machida at UFC 224.
While the fighter said nothing about being injured during the lead in to the encounter, it would appear that he suffered a left knee injury.
According to a report from Combate, an unspecified knee injury was suffered by Belfort in the first week of his training camp for UFC 224.
Belfort was also allegedly told by those within in camp and doctors who looked over the injury that his best move was to pull out of the fight, but he went through with it anyway.
Shortly after Combate reported the news about the injury, a now recovering Belfort posted the following on Instagram:
With the intention to be as honest as I can be with my fans and specially with my opponent, I will go straight to the point. The injured that happened with me during the training camp somehow made the news. My team nor I had mentioned before, during or after the fight. Winning or losing, fighting injured or not; it is part of an athlete’s life. I’m not the first one nor will be the last one athlete to fight injured. Even though all the limitations imposed to me because of the injured I suffered. It is my decision to step into the octagon or not. And I decided to do it! I did not want to miss the chance to have my last fight at the UFC; in my country, my hometown and with a such respected opponent. I gave my best on the fight and my opponent was the better man that night. And this is what counts! Nothing that happened with me during the training camp takes anything away from his victory. Of course wasn’t the outcome I wished for. Not because of the defeat, because we can’t control the outcome. What bothers me is knowing that I performed bellow of what I know that I can. I literally grew up in the cage, I was wrought to be a fighter, to leave it all in the cage... and this teachings I brought to all the aspects of my life. Dedicated every minute, every second doing the best you can in whatever you’re committed to. To the ones genuinely concerned with me, I will tell you this: I feel like an injured Lion. To the haters and envious, I will tell you this: I might be injured, BUT I’M STILL A LION! See you all very soon...
It is possible that Belfort will have to undergo surgery on the left knee, but more tests will get done before a decision is going to be made on that front.
This fight marked Belfort’s third attempt to hold his final fight in the UFC, with the first happening at UFC 212, but then an absent minded Belfort remembered he still had one more fight left on the UFC contract. Belfort then tried retiring again earlier this year at UFC Fight Night Pittsburgh, but opponent Uriah Hall pulled out of the fight due to issues related to the weight cut.