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Vitor Belfort confirms Lyoto Machida fight at UFC 224 will be his last

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Friends Belfort and Machida will battle it out in Rio on May 12th in what will be Vitor’s retirement fight.

UFC 179: Aldo v Mendes 2 Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images

It’s on ... and then it will be over.

We’ve heard a lot of talk about a Vitor Belfort vs. Lyoto Machida fight at UFC 224 in Rio, but I’ve learned to be very skeptical when it comes to Brazilian vs. Brazilian fights until both guys confirm it. Now we’ve got Vitor Belfort saying he is down to fight his friend, and it will indeed be his final MMA fight before retiring.

”I’m over 20 years being relevant in this sport,” Belfort wrote. “I broke a lot barriers and paved the way for a generation after me. I am one of the pioneers of the sport and I’m proud it it. I could not walk into the octagon for the last time without sending a relevant message to the: athletes, fans and to the sport itself. That is the reason why I chose to fight a friend of mine. An athlete that I have a lot respect. A good person a family man. I’m against the so famous trash talk. MMA is a sport! A sport that myself and a lot of family men work really hard to support our families.”

”Lyoto and I have known each other for many years, I know his family and we have trained together. I wanted this fight to take place in Brazil because that is where everything started and now it’s time for us to send another message to the world. And the message is: RESPECT!”

”May 12th, Lyoto Machida and I will step into the Octagon as professionals and we still be friends,” Belfort concluded. “Always respecting each other and the way we will do that is giving our best in the octagon. I want people to understand that you don’t have to be a bully to be a fighter, you have to be a real man. And that is exactly what the world is in need, real man willing to pay the price to make a difference.”

Honorable words, and a good start to a great fight. When two legends of the sport take each other on, do you really need a bunch of smack talk behind it for hype? It looks like we’re going to find out, and I hope the match up gets the respect and attention it deserves, from both the fans and the UFC.