Following Vitor Belfort’s crushing and quick defeat to Anderson Silva over two years ago, there likely was more than a few people who closed the book on “The Phenom’s” championship aspirations. Now, as Belfort’s November 9th bout with Dan Henderson approaches, however, the middleweight could be one win away from fighting for the title again. The punishing striker has proven his critics wrong, and has done so at the age of 36.
While plenty of fighters start thinking about winding down their careers once they hit their mid-30’s, Belfort recently told MMA Junkie.com that he could see himself fighting for many more years. While discussing his future, the Brazilian star stated:
“I believe in joy,” said Belfort. “When I step into the octagon and I don’t feel the pleasure and I don’t feel the adrenaline and the purpose, I think it will be time to stop.
“I made a plan to go into my 40s, so that’s kind of the plan. So I like to plan things. I believe the more you plan, the more you succeed.”
Of course, one could argue that Belfort might change his mind, especially if he loses a couple of fights and falls out of title contention. Not surprisingly, it sounds like the Blackzilians fighter understands all that.
“Of course, things can change,” Belfort said. “I’m very open. God will tell me what I have to do, and he will prepare what I have next for me. I love business, and fighting is a business for me. You can only work at things you can have pleasure and appreciation (for), to wake up every day and work hard.”
Belfort’s upcoming bout with Henderson is such an interesting one, not only because of each man’s resume and abilities, but because it means so much. While Belfort hopes to retain a title shot at 185, win or lose versus Henderson (the fight’s at 205), there’s a good chance he won’t face the winner of Weidman-Silva II if he’s defeated. And for the 43 year-old “Hendo”, a third consecutive loss would be a huge blow, even if his last two scraps have been extremely competitive.