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Vitor Belfort vs Evander Holyfield lands in Florida after California refuses to sanction it

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The last-minute freakshow fight between Vitor Belfort and Evander Holyfield is being moved to another state after CSAC refused to sign off on it.

Vitor Belfort Media Workout Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Triller’s latest sideshow extravaganza event on Sept. 11, 2021, has gone full circus over the past week after main event headliner Oscar De La Hoya was forced to pull out of his boxing bout with Vitor Belfort due to COVID-19. Rather than delay the event (and the Anderson Silva vs. Tito Ortiz boxing fight in the co-main), Triller elected to instead slot 58-year-old Evander Holyfield in as De La Hoya’s replacement.

Yes, Evander Holyfield is going to box Vitor Belfort.

If it sounds crazy, it’s because it is. So crazy, in fact, that California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) refused to sanction the fight, forcing Triller to commission shop its way to Florida. The event will now take place inside Hard Rock Seminole in Hollywood.

As for why Triller went with Holyfield — interesting story. Just last week, Holyfield had filed a legal arbitration demand against Triller because fights the promotion promised kept falling through.

When Holyfield signed with Triller, it was expected that he’d face Mike Tyson, but Tyson walked away from Triller after the one event they did with Roy Jones Jr. A fight between Holyfield and Kevin McBride was scheduled and canceled and then left dangling in limbo, leading Holyfield to arbitration where he hoped to force Triller to pay him a promised $5 million.

So all of a sudden with De La Hoya out, Triller had the opportunity to turn lemons into lemonade and get rid of pending arbitration with Holyfield. To them, the match up wasn’t all that absurd. It’s something the promotion had discussed with Belfort early on after “The Phenom” was signed.

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“After [De La Hoya in] September, December is me vs. Holyfield,” Belfort said in June. “Get ready for the crossover! We are taking over. Triller is bringing the fights that you dream!”

That quote didn’t generate too much hype because it’s not really a fight that anyone dreams of ... it just seemed silly. Yet, here we are now, one week away from it going down on Sep. 11 in the “Sunshine State.”