MONDAY NEWS DIGEST 12/17: Vitor Belfort planning MMA comeback, and more

By Cole Henry, mmatorch Contributor

Vitor Belfort (photo credit Per Haljestam © USA Today Sports)

Vitor Belfort eyeing an MMA comeback?

Former UFC Champion and MMA pioneer Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort has announced that he plans to break his retirement. Belfort last fought at UFC 224 where he suffered a brutal KO loss to Lyoto Machida, and promptly laid down his gloves. But today on the Ariel Helwani MMA Show, Belfort announced that he is a free agent, and is eyeing a comeback in 2019. Though he did not name a specific promotion he did say that he is in negotiations.

“I am a free agent, we are in conversation, in 2019 I will come back,” he said.

The last few years have been spotty for Belfort, but while his skills have waned, his passion has not, and it probably isn’t a surprise to most people that Belfort is breaking his retirement here. Within weeks of his initial retirement announcement, he was already trying to arrange fights for himself on Twitter and specifically called for a fight with Chuck Liddell. In the last few months alone we have witnessed Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, and Renzo Gracie compete and we will see BJ Penn in just a few days. Belfort coming out of retirement would fit right in with the others.

Monday Notebook

-Nick Diaz is denying claims that he will be ending his four-year hiatus to face Jorge Masvidal at UFC 235. Diaz told ESPN that he feels he’s being “lowballed” by the UFC and that he won’t fight until it makes sense. Diaz has not competed since a decision loss to Anderson Silva in 2015. The loss was later over-turned to a no contest after both fighters tested positive for banned substances.

-After failing to make weight for her scheduled bout with Andrea Lee, Jessica Rose Clark has announced that she will be leaving the 125-pound division and setting her sites on the bantamweights (135). Clark was hospitalized while attempting to cut the last bit of weight for her fight and the UFC then made the decision to call the fight off. Clark’s is just the latest close call and it further highlights the need for change in the way the weight is cut in MMA.

Notable fights over the weekend:

Russian Cagefighting Championship 5

Alexander Schlemenko def. Jonas Billstein

Ivan Shtyrkov def. Thiago Silva

Diego Brandao def. Vener Galiev

Georgy Kichigin def. Rousimar Palhares

Fight of the Day

Gustafsson vs. Manuwa

In case you missed it

Fights to make next after UFC on FOX

Who should Al Iaquinta fight next?

5 things UFC can do differently on ESPN but probably won’t


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.