Longtime mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran, Vitor Belfort, recently inked a deal with ONE Championship, ending his short-lived retirement after announcing his intention to walk away from the hurt business in what amounts to less than a year away from action.
Now, “The Phenom” is looking ahead to a new era in his storied combat sports career, one which could include a fight against former boxing champion Roy Jones Jr. But it won’t be a regular boxing match or an MMA fight, as Vitor says the “special set of rules” they will implement will be historical and will take place inside a ring.
“I am very happy with the deal and we are about to do something that never happened before. Right now we are negotiating with Roy Jones Jr. We are putting on the biggest fight in combat sports between boxing and MMA in a way never done before,” Belfort said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.
“Roy is a legend in his sport, and he earned the opportunity to shepherd this new era of this sport, and so do I in this sport,” he said. “I couldn’t ask for a better way of putting this together. This is going to be a natural intersection between boxing and the mixed martial arts world.”
Still, Belfort wouldn’t reveal the set of rules that will be in place for the fight, simply saying it will include the best of both worlds. While the particulars are still being figured out, “The Phenom” is confident the history-making bout will have as much impact on combat sports as the infamous “Rumble in the Jungle” showdown between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman when it took place in Kinshasa, Zaire roughly 45 years ago.
“We are looking to be doing something that’s never been done before. And we will create something new. I am really excited. We are looking to bring this to a country,” Belfort said. “I really believe this fight can be history in the combat sports just like George Foreman and Muhammad Ali when they went to Africa.
“I believe the settings we are agreeing to fight, and if you can bring this to your country, we are going to make history,” he said. “I am very proud to be able to accomplish this and be one of those guys who has everything in our power to move ahead and do something that has never been done before.”
Furthermore, Belfort says the mystery fight won’t be a “carnival” or “freak show” like Mayweather vs McGregor.