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Vitor Belfort: ‘I’m not retiring’ but UFC 224 ‘is my last fight’

Vitor Belfort talks about his plans after his upcoming UFC 224 fight against Lyoto Machida.

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Former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort is about to enter his 41st professional fight at the age of 41 at UFC 224 this Saturday against Lyoto Machida. And after 22 years of competing at the sport’s highest level, “The Phenom” confirms that he will be hanging up his gloves for good.

“This is my last fight,” Belfort told MMAjunkie in a pre-fight interview. “That’s important because people say, ‘OK, what’s the legacy you’re leaving?’ Legacy is not what I did for myself. It’s what I’m doing for the next generation. So I think I’m leaving one of the biggest legacies in the sport, for sure, worldwide.”

“But this is my last fight, for sure, and I’m very content with what I accomplished in this sport,” he added. “But I still believe I can contribute so much with the sport, and I love what the UFC is doing, creating the (UFC Performance Institute) and creating all that. But we have so much left to do.”

At the same time, Belfort refused to concede to the idea that he will be going into retirement.

“I’m not retiring because when you retire, you’re still getting paid. I’m not getting paid, so I’m not retiring,” Belfort said. “I’m looking for jobs. I’m looking for opportunities.”

UFC 224 takes place in both Belfort and Machida’s home country of Brazil. It will be headlined by the women’s bantamweight title fight between champion Amanda Nunes and Raquel Pennington.

Purchase UFC 224: Nunes vs. Pennington pay-per-view on Amazon