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‘The Last Dance’ of Vitor Belfort: ‘I’m reinventing myself for the last time’

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Vitor Belfort assures that his new journey with ONE Championship will be his final voyage, the last dance as a fighter.

The new Michael Jordan docu-series has recaptured the imagination of sports fans globally, now Vitor Belfort is about to embark on his own version of The Last Dance.

Belfort (26-14-0-1) announced his retirement from mixed martial arts following a knockout loss to Lyoto Machida in May 2018. Fast-forward two-years and Belfort is mounting a comeback in ONE Championship. “The Phenom” told MMA Mania this voyage with ONE would indeed be his last as an active fighter.

“We call it ‘The Last Dance,’ so I am on my last dance for sure,” he shared. “We’re going to make that last dance last long. I’m looking forward to making it happen. I’m reinventing myself for the last time in action. I’ll always be participating to help this sport. I’ll be involved and I love business.”

“I see so many things we need to change,” he continued. “I can be involved with the MMA in Olympics one day. It’s going to demand guys with vision who can see the future. I think I can see the future. When I was 16-years-old, I saw that MMA would be the biggest sport in the world. It is.”

Belfort will make his ONE Championship debut against former professional kickboxer Alain Ngalani (4-5-0-1) at a to-be-determined event. The two will compete under a hybrid rule set that has yet to be finalized. It has been described as a mixture of boxing and MMA. Belfort did offer one suggestion reminiscent of the early days of MMA.

“If you can make something where you can have shoes in the ring, you can really bring major sponsors,” he explained, rattling off names like Nike and Adidas. “I think something that has been lacking in MMA is... we just need to do something new.”

Belfort also reflected on a recent Instagram live stream he did with wrestler-turned-actor Dave Bautista (Avengers: Endgame, Blade Runner 2049, Spectre, Dune).

“It was amazing. Just knowing what that man went through. Seeing his struggles and being broke at 30-years-old. He got to go out and reinvent himself again,” Belfort said. “You can tell he is very positive and looking to do good and share. That’s the message. That’s what we wanted to do.”