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Vitor Belfort on UFC 224 pre-fight injury: I couldn’t pull out of my retirement fight

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Last Thursday, it was reported that MMA veteran Vitor Belfort suffered a knee injury in the early weeks leading up to UFC 224 and was advised by doctors to pull out of his retirement bout with Lyoto Machida.

Well, that’s true, and ‘The Phenom’ wants to let fans know that he takes full responsibility for his decision to commit to UFC 224 and isn’t making excuses for his knockout loss to ‘The Dragon’.

Belfort posted a lengthy message on Instagram, where he told fans he didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to fight for the last time in his hometown of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Check it out below:

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…

A post shared by Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort (@vitorbelfort) on

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…

Belfort, who recently turned 41, was knocked out in the second round with a front kick that was eerily reminiscent of his knockout loss to Anderson Silva in 2011.

The Brazilian is one of the early pioneers of MMA, having won the heavyweight tournament at UFC 12 and capturing the light heavyweight championship against Randy Couture at UFC 46. With over twenty one years of experience in the cage and having won titles in multiple promotions, Belfort has etched his name into the MMA history books and is a guaranteed UFC Hall of Famer.




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