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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Vitor Belfort after suffering third straight loss?

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Belfort vs Gastelum Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone, as UFC Fight Night 106 blew the roof Centro de Formacao Olimpica do Nordeste last weekend (Sat. March 11, 2017) in Fortaleza, Brazil.

For complete UFC Fight Night 106 “Belfort vs Gastelum” results click here!

Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Gian Villante, who was knocked out by a resurgent Mauricio Rua in their Light Heavyweight scrap (see it). And Beneil Dariush, who was put to sleep by Edson Barboza with a beautiful flying knee (recap).

But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now 48 hours removed from the show?

Vitor Belfort.

Coming into his headlining bout against Kelvin Gastelum, “The Phenom” proclaimed that his best combat days were ahead of him, leading some to believe that the old dog did indeed have some new tricks hidden up his sleeve.

But, most were pessimistic, seeing as how Belfort has dropped his previous two fights via technical knockout. Perhaps Vitor was simply confident going up against Gastelum, a fighter who moved up from Welterweight because he had trouble keeping off the pounds.

What we quickly realized, however, is that Belfort simply isn’t the fighter he used to be, as Gastelum made fairly easy work of the living legend, knocking him out in the very first round via ground-and-pound (see it). Prior to that, though, Kelvin flattened Belfort with a solid left that could’ve pretty much ended the fight.

To his credit, Vitor hung tough and fought through, though the end was inevitable.

After his third straight defeat, Belfort, thankfully, acknowledged that retirement was imminent, as he is only planning on fighting until his contract runs out, which currently only has one bout left in it.

"I want to continue fighting, but I have to recognize there comes a time the training is very tiring for someone who’s been fighting 20 years. I mean, I hope it is the last, because in July, I want to do the last fight of my contract. I think it’s my time to finish my chapter in this as a professional fighter. I think that my body is not the same to train – a lot of pain. It’s over 14 surgeries that I’ve done. I think I’ve left everything inside the octagon – it wasn’t in the best way. I’m sad not to give this win to my fans, but it’s part of it. The sport is this way.”

But, like a fighter that simply can’t fully let go, Belfort revealed that he would hang around a bit further if UFC created a “legend’s league,” an alternative version of combat with altered rules to allow the aging veterans of the sport to keep competing.

And more importantly, keep getting paid.

Since that idea is highly unlikely to see the light of day, fight fans have to prepare themselves that once Vitor steps into the cage this summer, it will be the last time we get to see him inside the cage after 20 long years of highlight-reel performances.

While he isn’t on the best run at the moment, it shouldn’t overshadow what he’s accomplished over his storied career. That said, “The Phenom” has the opportunity to end his career on a high note in his final fight.

Care to offer up any suggestions as to who his last fight should be against? But, he can’t be Brazilian, per Vitor’s request.

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