Former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort (16-8) is the latest addition to the star-studded Affliction MMA promotion debut, taking on Terry Martin in a middleweight bout at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on July 19.
"The Phenom" earned the 205-pound strap with a 49-second technical knockout (cut) of Randy Couture at UFC 46: "Supernatural" back in 2004. There was an immediate rematch and Belfort survived Couture’s onslaught for three rounds until the ringside doctor called a halt to the action in the final frame at UFC 49: "Unfinished Business."
He went on to lose his next bout to Tito Ortiz via split decision at UFC 51: "Super Saturday" and eventually worked his way overseas to compete under the Pride FC banner. He dropped two of three bouts, including a unanimous decision loss to Dan Henderson at PRIDE 32: "The Real Deal."
In the wake of the defeat, Belfort tested positive for banned anabolic steroid known 4-hydroxytestosterone (he claimed it was an over the counter supplement) and the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) suspended him for nine months and levied a $10,000 fine.
The Brazilian competed six months later in a Cage Rage event, which is a big no-no when it comes to licensure here in the United States – he was supposed to honor that ruling. Therefore, it is interesting that he has been announced for the California card.
Meanwhile, Martin is out to prove that he is among the best 185-pound fighters despite back-to-back losses inside the Octagon. He will look to rebound this weekend against Daiju Takase on the first-ever Adrenaline MMA card set for the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Ill., on June 14.
He has also kept busy on the boxing circuit, knocking out Ricardo Upchurch in his professional debut in a cruiserweight bout back in April.
Martin will certainly have his hands full with Belfort, who is making his debut at 185 pounds. But he possesses knockout power in both fists, which can come into play at anytime.
Affliction MMA features the showdown between Fedor Emilianenko and Tim Sylvia, as well as other heavyweight clashes between Josh Barnett and Pedro Rizzo and Andrei Arklovski and Ben Rothwell.
The card is absolutely loaded … check it out on pay-per-view (PPV) on Saturday, July 19.