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Breaking: Former UFC champion Vitor Belfort announces retirement from MMA

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Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

- Update -

Despite the following report regarding Belfort's Instagram post from earlier today, MMA Junkie confirmed that Belfort has no intentions of retiring. His post may have said otherwise, but "The Phenom" is ready and willing to fight as soon as possible.

- End of update -

At 39 years of age, mixed martial arts (MMA) legend Vitor Belfort has decided to hang it up and call it a career. The former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion took to Instagram earlier today (Sat., Oct. 15, 2016) to reveal his decision to walk away from the sport.

Quem não conhecesse os seus erros não é digno de liderar a si mesmo, quanto mais as pessoas que o cercam. Reconheço que não sou perfeito, sou somente HUMANO , um SER HUMANO. O poeta já escreveu : " - que o amor seja eterno enquanto dure." Esse é um belíssimo trecho de um poema. Porém eu o considero ingênuo. Com todo carinho e respeito ao poeta, peço permissão para reescrevê-lo da seguinte maneira: " - QUE O AMOR SEJA ETERNO ENQUANTO SEJA CULTIVADO." Confesso que preciso cultivar meu desejo pela competição dentro do octógono. Sei que tenho que zelar por aquela chama que sempre ardeu em mim. Tendo conhecimento pleno disso: " - DECIDI QUE CUSTE O QUE CUSTAR VOU REACENDER MAIS UMA VEZ ESSA CHAMA." Muito obrigado pelo carinho e apoio. Vou finalizar esse capítulo na minha vida, olhando no espelho e reconhecendo a mim mesmo. Who does not recognize your own mistakes it is not worthy to lead yourself, even less the people around him. I recognize that I am far from perfect, I am only human; a human being. Once a poet in Brazil wrote: " - may love be eternal while it lasts. It is a beautiful fragment of a poem, but a truly consider it naive. If I may and with all do respect, I would re write it like this: " - may love be eternal while we nurture it." I confess that I need to nurture my competitive will inside the Octagon. I must cherish that fire inside of me again. Having recognized that to myself; I DECIDED TO DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO BURN THAT FLAME AGAIN! Thanks a lot for all the support and advices. But I decided that I will end this chapter of my life looking at the mirror and recognizing myself. @mundoboxing

A photo posted by Vitor "The Phenom" Belfort (@vitorbelfort) on

"Thanks a lot for all the support and advices," wrote Belfort. "But I decided that I will end this chapter of my life looking at the mirror and recognizing myself."

Belfort, who was known for his ferocious striking pallet and relentless finishing ability, will leave a 25-13 career record behind. In his prime, "The Phenom" was considered one of the most dangerous fighters on the planet. His ability to overwhelm opponents led to knockout finishes of prominent MMA figures like Randy Couture, Wanderlei Silva, Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold.

While Belfort remained atop the UFC middleweight division for the better part of the past three years, dropping back-to-back fights opposite Ronaldo Souza at UFC 198 and Gegard Mousasi at UFC 204 all but took him out of contention.

Belfort is a shoe in for the UFC Hall of Fame and a fighter that will be used as a measuring tool for future MMA fighters of all shapes and sizes.

Stick with Mania as more news pertaining to Belfort's retirement becomes available.