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Belfort Looks to Become a Brand New Vitor

Vitor Belfort, the man once known as one of the most feared strikers at 205 lbs in the world looks to reinvent himself this Saturday at Affliction:Banned at 185 lbs against UFC veteran Terry Martin. It’s been a long road back for the ‘Phenom’ and a move to Xtreme Couture Las Vegas looks to be just what he needs to become a brand new Vitor.

Belfort began fighting professional MMA in 1996, when he was 19 years old. He had hands that most boxers would envy, and a physique that could have won bodybuilder shows. In his first 12 fights, he only lost twice. A TKO loss to Randy Couture and was decisioned against Kazushi Sakaraba. Hardly something any fighter would be ashamed of.

In June 2002 Belfort lost a decision to Chuck Liddell at UFC 37.5 and his fight career began a downward spiral. Including the Liddell fight, Vitor was beaten in 5 of his next 8 matches, which included a TKO win over Couture. But the fight was stopped due to an early cut that was opened up on the Natural. Randy avenged it 7 months later.

Critics of Belfort began to question him. They said maybe the fame had gotten to Vitor. Maybe family tragedies had left him unable to care about fighting. Maybe he simply didn’t have it anymore. Critics were sympathetic toward their hero, but could not help asking: Will we ever see the Vitor of Old?

Those close to Vitor knew what he was capable of dealing with. Not just with fighting, but with life. They also knew he would be back.

Since a decision loss to Dan Henderson at Pride 32 in October 2006, Vitor has strung together 2 straight wins in Cage Rage and looks to make it 3 in a row Saturday night in Anaheim. And he’ll do it 20 lbs lighter.

Having to hear constant questions about ‘The Old Vitor’, Belfort moved his camp to Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. After seeing the turnaround XC trainer Shawn Tompkins had given Wanderlei Silva in his preparation for Keith Jardine, Belfort’s management team contacted Tompkins and asked if he would work with the Brazilian.

The answer of course, was yes.

We caught up with Tompkins earlier this week and he said that he is,

“Working as exclusively as possible with Vitor. Vitor just needs to get that aggression back. The same thing we were able to do for Wanderlei, we’re going to do with Vitor”.

This will be Belfort’s first fight ever at 185 lbs, and given Vitor’s muscular frame, this may be a difficult cut. Tompkins says no way. “He’s walking around about 10 lbs over and there will be no issue with the weight. He looks great.”

Tompkins helped turned Silva into the animal we were used to seeing, but when asked if he we would see the Vitor of Old on Saturday, Tompkins says no.

“You won’t see the Vitor of old. You will see a better Vitor than ever. He really looks unbelievable”

So if you’re looking for the old Vitor on Saturday night, you may not find him. This Vitor looks to be better than ever.

  • MMAMAN says:

    Why does marvin eastmen even fight????

  • MMAMAN says:

    His build really changed over the years.

  • Top Secret says:

    Nice article.

    I am and will always be a fan of his. If he’s willing to work hard, there no doubt in mind that he can become one of the best at 185.

  • jimmy says:

    The “family problem” they referred to is most likely the kidnapping and subsequent murder of his younger sister. I believe it was a failed ransom attempt that eventually led to her murder. Vitor had reached celebrity status in Brazil which made his family a target.
    Hopefully with all he’s been through, he is able to make a come back and put all the nay sayers to rest.

  • Randy says:

    Knowing Vitor he will flop once again..

  • Big John says:

    Vitor is one of the most overated fighters of all time.

    End of story.

  • Ron Jeriamiah says:

    And ohya.. he lost to Marvin too..

  • Ron Jeriamiah says:

    Martin is sort of a bum man.

    He got knocked out by Chris Leben. That’s pretty bad.

    Then could not knock out Marvin ‘Glass Jaw’ Eastman.

  • Mugh Mass says:

    Martin’s not a bum. He’s had a couple of bad outings where he refused to fight smart and paid for it.

    All that said, though, I’ll take Belfort by TKO, probably in the first.

  • Rick Last says:

    Terry Martin is the perfect opponent for Vitor. Likes to bang and doesn’t have a great chin.

    What are the family problems they are talking about?

  • GSPeed off says:

    I think Vitor can come back and be again.

    I think Terry Martin sucks real bad, so even if he beats him I won’t really be convinced.

    It would be a good start however and 3 in a row isn’t bad. He is still somewhat young.

    PS Terry Martin is not good..

  • John Kruk (the baseball guy) says:

    I really want Vitor to be awesome again. I really want to believe it.

    I’m having a hard time believing he can be nearly as good as he once was though..

    but I’m trying really hard..

  • Bobbie says:

    Great article. If Tompkins can do with Vitor what he has done with Wanderlei, then Vitor will be a serious threat at 185 lbs.

    He has all the skills in the world and is still young.

    War Vitor!

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