Asian MMA organization ONE Championship announced yesterday the signing of former UFC heavyweight tournament winner and light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort (26-14-0, 1NC).
Belfort, 41, is best known for his years with the UFC. After his most recent nine year run with the company, “The Phenom” retired after a loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC 224 in May 2018. But approximately seven months later, he announced his intentions to return to action in 2019.
“It is with great pleasure and honour that I welcome Vitor Belfort into the ONE Championship family,” said ONE chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong in a press release. “Vitor is hands down, one of the biggest names in mixed martial arts. He is a legend across the world, and we are thrilled to have him as ONE expands into South America. A world champion in multiple weight divisions, Vitor is a massive addition to our ever-growing roster of ONE Championship elite athletes. I cannot wait to see his explosive power and his exciting knockout finishes inside the ONE cage.”
“I have been in this sport since I was 19 years old, and have been fortunate enough to witness its growth and evolution firsthand,” added Belfort. “I am grateful to so many for this incredible opportunity. First of all, I would like to thank my wife Joana and my children, Davi, Victoria and Kyara for their infinite love and support. My management, Lloyd Pierson and Ballengee Group, guided me through this process with unmatched expertise.I would like to of course thank Chatri Sityodtong and ONE Championship, who gave me this great honor to fight in front of the Asian audience. ONE Championship is the Home of Martial Arts, and I plan to become a ONE world champion in front of some of the best martial arts fans in the world.”
Terms were not disclosed.