By Raphael Garcia
Because mixed martial arts is a violent sport that deals damage both in the cage and in the practice room, it’s hard to tell a fighter when his or her time is up. However, people usually chime in with their opinions when a fighter is 39 years of age and losing in dramatic fashion like Vitor Belfort. The former champion mentioned in his post-fight comments that he has one fight remaining on his UFC contract and he’d like to end it with a battle in Brazil. If that happens, one wonders how fans will remember “The Phenom.”
When talking about Belfort’s accolades in the cage, there’s a lot of focus on. However, the current story isn’t that great. At UFC Fight Night 106, Belfort suffered his third straight TKO stoppage, this time at the hands of Kelvin Gastelum. In fact, every defeat he’s suffered since rejoining the UFC in 2009 has come at the end of some sort of stoppage. And since being defeated by Chris Weidman at UFC 187, the violence behind each has escalated.
Vitor Belfort is one of the most controversial men on the UFC roster today. His name elicits a mix of reactions from fans and peers alike. If he’s set to fight out his UFC contract -- and perhaps his career -- at an event later this year, it will be hard to recognize his success without mentioning the struggles he’s had with performance-enhancing drugs. Belfort is going to go down as a competitor that brought the action, whether he was finishing or getting finished. But the conversation surrounding his career is going to involve much more than that when it’s all said and done.