If there are a few things that Belfort wishes MMA would adapt, it would be morals and a code of respect.
“I see ONE Championship as a global organization that is changing the perception of how people see fights,” Belfort said during a fan Q&A earlier this week (via MMA Junkie). “It’s sick, to me, how fights have been selling. Because I remember, as the sport was growing, we had WWE and they used to compare us to WWE. I said, ‘No, we are the real thing.’ But then the real thing has become more like the WWE and I think that with everything in life, you’ve got to have a responsibility. If you don’t have morals, you don’t have respect, a code – and I think you guys agree with me – where are we going to go? What’s going to be next? Throwing a chair or shooting somebody? We don’t have a net. We don’t have a teammate to get punched for you. It’s you against another guy. It’s the most (respectful) sport in the whole word, because you don’t have nothing that can separate me from my opponent. I’m literally laying my hands and my feet on him. So if you don’t have a code of respect, I think this becomes a freak show and that’s not healthy for mixed martial arts.”
There is no word yet on when Belfort will make his One Championship debut, but it should come by the end of the year.
The fighter says people can try and mimic competitors like Conor McGregor, but authenticity is what is really needed in the end.
“You cannot try to multiply Conor McGregor,” Belfort said. “You cannot try to mimic him and try to be him. (There’s) only one Muhammad Ali. Only one Vitor Belfort, only one Anderson Silva, only one Conor McGregor. Don’t try to force it. If I’m a promoter, OK, I’m going to promote a fight. I’ve got to see who I’m promoting and what you have. Because if I try to make you what you’re not, or try to make you that person because that person sold me more, now I’m just not giving what the fans needed. They need authenticity.”