Vitor Belfort is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, UFC 12 Heavyweight Tournament Champion, and Cage Rage World Light Heavyweight Champion during the peak of his career. Also known as “The Phenom”, he was considered as one of the top 5 athletes in the UFC middleweight division.
Belfort was born in Rio de Janeiro on April 1, 1977, where he started training in boxing at the age of 12. At 19, he went to the United States to compete in the MMA. He initially showed an impressive fighting prowess against Jon Hess, whom he defeated in 12 seconds via a knockout despite Hess having the height and weight advantage.
His rose to fame was for being the youngest fighter who had managed to score a win at the Octagon. At 19, Belfort was able to win his first two fights in the UFC, both via TKO against Tra Telligman and Scott Ferrozzo at the UFC 12 Judgement Day. His first lost was from Randy Couture in 1997 at the UFC 15 Collision Course via a TKO. His skills in boxing proved to be insufficient against Couture’s iconic clinch fighting.
Belfort’s debut fight at the Pride FC was a defeat but the next 4 consecutive fights were all a success - defeating Gilbert Yvel, Daijiro Matsui, Bobby Southworth, and Heath Herring before he returned back to the UFC ring in 2002. Unfortunately, his debut fight against Chuck Liddell during his short stint at Pride was a defeat via unanimous decision.
He experienced a fair share of wins and defeats against constant contender Randy Couture in the Octagon ring. Belfort’s last fight with Couture at the UFC 49 also happens to be a defeat via a TKO. His latest triumph was against Dan Henderson at the UFC Fight Night 77 November 2015.