When Vitor Belfort takes on Dan Henderson in the main event of UFC Fight Night 77 tomorrow (Nov. 7, 2015) in Sao Paulo, Brazil, he'll be doing so without the Blackzilians in his corner for the first time in more than three years.
Why he left the team is up for debate, however in an interview today with UFC on Fox he said he left on good terms.
"I had a great time with the coaches, with the fighters, I have great friends there," said Belfort. "But it was time for me to do my thing and they understand and I think we're still friends and life goes on."
Time to do his thing, indeed. Whatever that means. Hard-hitting news from Heidi Androl.
It seems like only yesterday that Rashad Evans was welcoming Belfort to the upstart Florida fight team composed mainly of refugees from American Top Team.
While we can only speculate as to the real reasons for the split, Belfort's wife and manager Joana Prado told Sherdog he wasn't getting enough attention from the coaching staff:
"No, we don't have any problems with the Blackzilians. We like everybody over there, and we always had a great and honest relationship with Glenn (Robinson). Vitor had a great time with the Blackzilians and is very thankful for everything they did for him, but he has been doing this for 20 years and even when he was on a team, we used to hire his own staff. Now, at our gym, he has all eyes looking only at him."
So, does this mean that Belfort is focused and ready to claw his way back to the top of the 185-pound ladder? Well, not exactly. The Brazilian "Phenom" told Androl that he doesn't have anything left to prove and is now just fighting for the love of the sport.
"I've had a chance to do that for 20 years. Not a lot of guys can do that so I'm very blessed. I thank God every day."
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 77 fight card tomorrow night (click here), starting with the UFC Fight Pass "Prelims" bouts at 6:30 p.m. ET before moving on to the FOX Sports 1 "Prelims" offering at 8 p.m. ET, followed by the FOX Sports 1 main card line up at 10 p.m. ET.