Vitor Belfort Reports Having a Lack of “Fire” During Final Years of UFC Run
As Vitor Belfort prepares to begin the latest chapter of his career with ONE Championship, "The Phenom's" opened up about his setbacks in recent years.
Vitor Belfort’s final years with the UFC did not go according to plan, and recently the legendary fighter admitted that a lack of motivation contributed to his setbacks.
Belfort says he didn’t have the “fire”
The Brazilian star finished his latest run with the UFC in May, 2018, after he was stopped by Lyoto Machida. The defeat was Belfort’s third since 2016, and during that time he only recorded one victory. Following the defeat, Belfort announced he was hanging up the gloves.
As you know, Belfort’s retirement didn’t last long, and eventually, he signed with ONE Championship. Recently the 43-year-old fighter spoke with MMA Fighting, and while reflecting on his final years with the UFC, Belfort said this.
“When you lose the passion, you’ve kind of got to go away from the sport. I see a lot of people getting hurt, a lot of fighters just kind of going through the motions, and I’m not just talking about the organization, but also with yourself.
Sometimes you need a break. You need time to reevaluate, or you need new challenges, and sometimes what the company needs is different than what the fighter needs. I know to make your name you’ve got to work for the company.
I feel like I did, but the company needs someone, and I was in another ‘season,’ so I think I was just going through my contract. It’s not the fault of the company; it was my fault, has nothing to do with the company.”
“I think I kind of violated the commitment with myself,” Belfort said. “My fire was not there, and I was living through other people’s fire, trying to say, ‘I’ll get the fire back if I hire this coach,’ or ‘I’m gonna get this guy if I do that.’
And I was always doing something to try and bring the fire back.”
And while talking about his decision to return to the cage, and sign with ONE, Belfort added this.
“Before I signed, I had to feel that way,” Belfort said. “So I didn’t sign and then feel that way. You cannot get married to start loving your wife.
You cannot have your kid to say, ‘Oh, now I’m gonna be a dad.’ Listen carefully to what I’m saying. You cannot be a dad waiting for your kid to be born to say, ‘Okay, now I have responsibility.’ That decision you’ve got to make before you make your child.”
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So, sure. Belfort’s detractors may question whether he’s making excuses for the losses he took in recent years. But, it is worth noting that the fighter did change up his camp and coaches during that time, as he alluded to.
Belfort’s ONE debut
Fast forward to today, and Belfort recently said he’s set to fight Alain Ngalani in his ONE debut. The fight and date for it, however, has yet to be announced.