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Win or Lose, Vitor Belfort is hanging up the gloves Sunday

One of the most iconic careers in MMA will end when Vitor Belfort retires.

Vitor Belfort has been around the sport of MMA for two decades. He made his debut back in 1996 against John Hess. Since that time he’s been one of the most feared strikers in the history of the sport. I remember when he debuted at UFC 12 and his first two fights that night lasted an average of less than a minute. I remember being so excited to see him fight Tank Abbott at UFC 13. It was speed vs. power and I felt power would win.  It didn’t. In under a minute, Vitor absolutely wrecked Tank Abbott and I was hooked.

Through the years he’s been involved in fights with every big name fighter on the planet. You can’t build a top ten list without Vitor having faced all ten men. If there were an MMA Mount Rushmore, Vitor would get some serious consideration from me. His legacy has been tarnished in some ways due to his use of Testosterone and steroid use, but honestly, I feel the majority of athletes were using performance-enhancing drugs so I’m not too concerned with it.

Win or lose, this looks like a retirement fight for Vitor. He went on MMA Unfiltered with Jim Norton and Matt Serra and made the announcement. Vitor had this to say regarding knowing when to walk away.

“Life is about seasons, and I think you got to know the seasons. I think I did more than enough. Sometimes I flashback and say, ‘Wow I’m still doing this. Wow, it’s crazy.’ And I’m very thankful, but I think my body needs a rest.”

I’m happy to see Vitor walk away from MMA and pursue a new chapter in his life. He has nothing to prove to anyone, has had a career most would kill for and will be remembered by most as a legend of the sport. If your career is a work of art, Vitor has painted a masterpiece. Walking away now would be a great way to end it.

Vitor fights Uriah Hall this Sunday in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 124. You can view the lineup right here.