Is Vitor Belfort Truly Retiring After UFC 224?

Vitor Belfort on transition from ONE Championship to Triller Fight Club

Vitor Belfort clashes with The Real Tarzann aka Mike Holston on the undercard for the next Triller Fight Club event. This takes place on June 19th in Miami, Florida at loanDepot park.

This boxing card is headlined by unified champion Teofimo Lopez vs George Kambosos Jr for the undisputed lightweight championship of the world.

Triller hosted a media day on June 7th with Vitor Belfort and The Real Tarzann ahead of this prizefight.

I spoke with Belfort about why he never competed with ONE Championship despite being contracted for years, his transition towards Triller Fight Club, and the timeline between his debut and sophomore boxing bouts.

Vitor Belfort

There was a couple of years you were signed with ONE Championship. It seemed like the debut was going to come, never ultimately came to fruition though.

Can you provide some clarity on that situation and as an extension of that, what was the timeline like getting this boxing bout signed up?

“They could not close a fight. My agent tried to close many fights there. But for some reason their agenda with my agenda, we could not set a date. Our contract came to an end and Chatri (Sityodtong) is a very nice guy, good friend of mine. He said ‘Vitor, we cannot find you a fight. This pandemic hit. It was pretty crazy’. And I think it just didn’t align. What they’re doing with what I wanted to do. So on that day, we clear I spoke to him and kind of the same day appeared this opportunity.”

“Actually, the opportunity was amazing. In 2000, I was supposed to migrate to boxing. But this lawyer had a million dollar contract and they wanted me to go leave MMA to go box. Boxing’s been my bread and butter. I brought boxing to UFC. I said ‘if you let me do MMA and boxing together, I will do it’. But I have to choose one and back in the time I said no. My dream is to make MMA big and I did that.”

“So now I’m kind of migrating into this next phase. I’m pretty excited with what Triller is doing. I think they’re literally shifting how combat sport is migrating and I believe soon we’re gonna have the hybrid between boxers and MMA guys inside. See who has the best hands.”

Pro Boxing debut compared to sophomore sweet science foray

I was noticing in your pro boxing debut there in April 2006, you were still also concurrently competing with Pride Fighting Championships. Which had a level of pageantry and grandeur and everything like that.

As you’re getting ready for this sophomore boxing effort and you’re competing under the Triller umbrella. Which also has a similar entertainment minded kind of idea like does it have similar hallmarks to back at that prior point in your career? Does it feel like an altogether new period in your career?

“I feel truly it’s just the next level. I think they literally are making this entertaining. Used to love that time in Japan. It’s totally entertaining. People have to understand this, Dylan. If you’re not entertaining, you cannot make money. If you don’t make money, you cannot hire people. So the problem with fighters they need to understand that before they become a fighter, they are entertainers…When you talk about boxing or MMA, I understood in a later career that it’s all about, you become your own promoter.”

“You have to become your own promoter. You have to accept how people consume products. And it’s funny how I used to think ‘why people no like this? People have to consume this. They cannot consume this’. No, you cannot obligate people to buy your product. So, your job is to create a product and make them want your product. So that’s called becoming an entrepreneur and I think Triller is just changing the game. It’s literally putting everybody in the same room, putting the family together, you know.”

“All generations are together and watching amazing artists. Watching amazing athletes from different sports. From a different way of life and I mean literally changing what was to be normal. And now it’s just amazing. I’m so excited. I saw the first one. When Tyson fought, it was marvelous. The production, the whole thing.”

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