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Vitor Belfort’s ONE Championship debut expected ‘this year’

MMA: UFC 187-Johnson vs Cormier-Weigh Ins Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

How do you teach an old dog new tricks?

You don’t, you simply give the old dog a new owner who’s never seen them before. It’s kind of like that old NBC slogan from the late nineties, which tried to justify the network’s incessant reruns by claiming, “If you haven’t seen it, it’s new to you!”

Fortunately for Vitor Belfort, who parted ways with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in the wake of his knockout loss to Lyoto Machida, there’s probably a large contingent of mixed martial arts (MMA) fans who’ve never seen him compete.

Which is why “The Phenom” is getting a fresh start with ONE Championship.

“I believe it will be this year,” CEO Chatri Sityodtong told BJPenn.com about Belfort’s pending debut. “We’re still trying to wrap things up on that end, but stay tuned for some big news in the very near future.”

Belfort turned 42 earlier this month.

There hasn’t been much dialogue in the way of Belfort’s future with the Singapore-based combat sports promotion. That said, both “The Phenom” and boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. have expressed interest in a potential mixed-rules bout.

As far as competing in MMA, it will be interesting to see where Belfort (26-14, 1 NC) ends up in terms of weight class. No doubt light heavyweight is a more attractive option than middleweight at this stage of his career, but that may depend on the depth of the ONE Championship roster.

Stay tuned.