UFC on FX 8 quickly approaching, and before you watch "The Phenom" battle with Luke Rockhold on the May 18th card card, how about we get you up to speed on all things Belfort.
1) He first fought in the UFC at 19
There's a reason Vitor Belfort is called "The Phenom". The Brazlian native made his MMA debut at only 19 years old, when he won his first professional bout in 12 seconds by KO. Then in 1997, with only one professional bout under his belt, Belfort took his talents to the UFC at the promotion's 12th event. There the young prodigy would go on to win the UFC's heavyweight tournament in only his 3rd pro bout against Scott Ferrozzo and solidify himself as something truly special in the sport.
2) He is one of the most Prolific KO artists in MMA history
Watch any Vitor Belfort highlight reel and you will know one thing for sure. The guy has some serious scary power. His resume boasts some of the most impressive KO's in the sports history, including some recent beauties against Rich Franklin and Michael Bisping. In all, Belfort has collected a total of 15 KO/TKOs.
3) He has won multiple MMA titles
In addition to winning the UFC 12 heavyweight tournament, Belfort has also collected several other gold straps in his career. In 2004, "The Phenom" captured the light-heavyweight title when he defeated his old rival Randy Couture by TKO(cut) at UFC 46. However, he would then lose that championship to "The Natural" at UFC 49. Then in 2007, he would move on to Cage Rage and win their light-heavyweight title against James Zikic.
4) He's fought some of the greatest of all-time
Having fought since 1996 in some of the sport's biggest promotions while in multiple weight classes, Belfort's career has crossed paths with some of MMA's best. Look at the names: Couture, Wanderlei, Liddell, Ortiz, Overeem, Hendo, Anderson, Jones. If iron sharpens iron, then it's safe to say Vitor's game is sharp enough to split a hair.
5) He's a BJJ black belt
While he's primarily known for his boxing and Muay Thai, Belfort actually began his career training in BJJ under the great Carlson Gracie, whom he would also receive his black belt from. He's even competed in some the most prestigious competition's in the sport, including ADCC championships. However, of his 22 wins, only 3 have come by submission. His last win by tap out was against against Anthony Johnson at UFC 142, where he won by a rear-naked choke.
6) He's boxed professionally
In 2006, Belfort decided to try his hand at another combat sport when he made his pro boxing debut. He won by TKO after knocking opponent Josemario Neves down to the canvas 3 times. While it remains his only professional bout to date, he has stated that he would be open to competing again.
7) He's an admitted TRT user
While there's no doubt that the old lion is one of the most explosive fighters in the game, it doesn't come without controversy as Belfort is known to be a user of the ever controversial testosterone replacement therapy. After his bout with Bisping at UFC on FX 7, the UFC went on to reveal that the Brazilian was granted TRT usage by his doctors due to being diagnosed with hypogonadism. Belfort recently commented on his prescription usage on Ariel Helwani's The MMA Hour:
"It's hard. I cannot explain why I need something," Belfort lamented. "It's just, the doctors, you know, just they said that I need [TRT]. I did everything by the book. I went to the commissions, the UFC. I never hide from them, so they knew what I was doing. I believe everyone has their personal things. My health is my personal life, you know? A lot of people on TRT, they don't tell [the UFC], whatever."
9) He's married to a Playboy model
Championships aren't the only thing Vitor has to be proud of. He is also married to Brazilian model and TV star Joana Prado. In addition to several adult magazines, his wife has also posed for the cover of Brazil's Playboy three times. Check out his gorgeous wife below:
10) He's an extremely dedicated Christian
If you've heard any of Vitor's post-fight speeches then you know that a is devout religious man, as states that all his success is due to Christ. Here is what Belfort had to say about his life and religion:
“I just thank God every day. I’m happy. I’m healthy. Bottom line is it’s just the way you treat life and life will treat you back. Make sure you’re happy with whatever is going on in your life. I think the key of life is just be happy with what’s in front of you and the decision of my life is under God and God knows what’s best for me."