Vitor Belfort has come to the end of his MMA career — according to him, anyway.
The former UFC light heavyweight champion bid farewell to his fans and the UFC company after a second-round knockout loss to fellow legend Lyoto Machida at UFC 224 on Saturday. The card took place at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“It’s been a long ride, and life is about beginning, middle and end,” Belfort said in his post-fight interview. “I think I’ve come to the end. Congratulations to Machida. I’m leaving my gloves here.”
Ahead of the middleweight contest against Machida, Belfort’s stance on whether he would retire was confusing as usual. He said he was “not retiring” after UFC 224, but that the main-card spot would be his “last fight.” The 41-year-old also said he was interested in a Fedor Emelianenko fight, because there is “lots of money in Russia.”
Dating back to May 2016, Belfort has not won in four of his past five bouts. His only win since late 2015 is a close decision win over Nate Marquardt last year.
If “The Phenom” is indeed retired, he leaves the sport with a 26-14, 1 NC record.