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Vitor Belfort confirms last bout of career against Lyoto Machida at UFC 224 in Brazil

Vitor Belfort will meet friend Lyoto Machida in his retirement fight at UFC 224.

UFC 198 Weigh-ins Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Vitor Belfort thought he was going to fight for the last time in St. Louis last month. He was prepared and ready to go, but opponent Uriah Hall had some weight issues and the bout was scratched. That wasn’t a great situation for The Phenom, but it did open up the opportunity for his retirement bout to take place in Brazil instead.

And that is exactly what’s going to happen.

Belfort took to Instagram today to confirm that he will fight friend and fellow Brazilian Lyoto Machida at UFC 224 in Rio:

“I’m over 20 years being relevant in this sport. I broke a lot barriers and paved the way for a generation after me. I am one of the pioneers of the sport and I’m proud it it. I could not walk into the octagon for the last time without sending a relevant message to the athletes, fans and to the sport itself.

That is the reason why I chose to fight a friend of mine. An athlete that I have a lot respect. A good person a family man. I’m against the so famous “trash talk”. MMA is a sport!

A sport that myself and a lot of family men work really hard to support our families. Lyoto and I have known each other for many years, I know his family and we have trained together. I wanted this fight to take place in Brazil because that is where everything started and now it’s time for us to send another message to the world.

And the message is: RESPECT!

May 12th @lyotomachidafw and I will step into the octagon as professionals and we still be friends.Always respecting each other and the way we will do that is giving our best in the octagon.

I want people to understand that you don’t have to be a bully to be a fighter, you have to be a real man.And that is exactly what the world is in need, real man willing to pay the price to make a difference.”

Belfort (26-13, 1 NC, 15-9, 1 NC UFC) is coming off a decision win over Nate Marquardt at UFC 212 last June. Machida (23-8, 15-8 UFC) turned things around for himself with a close split decision win over Eryk Anders at UFC Belem earlier this month. He had been on a three-fight skid before that.

UFC 224 goes down on May 12th in the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The card could be headlined by a UFC women’s bantamweight title fight between champion Amanda Nunes and challenger Raquel Pennington.

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