Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Vitor Belfort is fighting another former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion in Lyoto Machida this coming May at UFC 224.
Belfort has now announced that the bout against Machida in his native Brazil is going to serve as his retirement bout, as opposed to just his last UFC bout.
It was through Instagram that Belfort made the announcement:
I’m over 20 years being relevant in this sport. I broke a lot barriers and paved the way for a generation after me. I am one of the pioneers of the sport and I’m proud it it. I could not walk into the octagon for the last time without sending a relevant message to the: athletes, fans and to the sport itself. That is the reason why I chose to fight a friend of mine. An athlete that I have a lot respect. A good person a family man. I’m against the so famous “trash talk”. MMA is a sport! A sport that myself and a lot of family men work really hard to support our families. Lyoto and I have known each other for many years, I know his family and we have trained together. I wanted this fight to take place in Brazil because that is where everything started and now it’s time for us to send another message to the world. And the message is: RESPECT! May 12th @lyotomachidafw and I will step into the octagon as professionals and we still be friends. Always respecting each other and the way we will do that is giving our best in the octagon. I want people to understand that you don’t have to be a bully to be a fighter, you have to be a real man. And that is exactly what the world is in need, real man willing to pay the price to make a difference.
This isn’t the first time that Belfort was set to retire in the Octagon, as he was supposed to retire at UFC Fight Night St. Louis. However, a series of health problems affected opponent Uriah Hall before the weigh-ins and the bout was scrapped.
UFC 224 takes place on Saturday, May 12 from the Jeunesse Arena in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil with no main event announced at this time. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.