Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort still has some fight in him just yet.
The former UFC light heavyweight champion took to social media to seemingly announce his retirement from MMA:
“Who does not recognize your own mistakes it is not worthy to lead yourself, even less people around him. I recognize that I am far from perfect, I am only human; a human being.
“I confess that I need to nurture my competitive will inside the Octagon. I must cherish that fire inside of me again. having recognized that to myself, I decided to do whatever it takes to burn that flame again. Thanks a lot for all the support and advices. But I decided that I will end this chapter of my life looking at the mirror and recognizing myself.”
Belfort, 39, later clarified to MMAjunkie that he was not announcing his retirement.
“I’m not retired,” Belfort told MMAjunkie. “I want to fight again soon.
“I am driven to get back on my feet and honor the nickname I so proudly carry. ‘The Phenom’ is back.”
“The Phenom” last fought at UFC 204 in early October, dropping a second-round TKO to Gegard Mousasi in Manchester, England. “The Phenom” went 2-3 in his last five contests, dropping TKO losses to Mousasi, Ronaldo Souza and former champion Chris Weidman.
The Brazilian slugger is easily one of the more accomplished, but polarizing figures in the history of the sport. Winning the UFC light heavyweight championship back in 2004, Belfort went on to challenge for UFC titles a decade later.
Belfort tested positive for anabolic steroids in 2006, and went on to become the most prominent fighter using testosterone-replacement therapy before it was banned by both the Nevada State Athletic Commission and the UFC.
He has career wins over Dan Henderson, Luke Rockhold, Michael Bisping, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, Rich Franklin, Randy Couture and Wanderlei Silva.