Vitor Belfort made his UFC debut over 19 years ago, at age 19. He won, and it remains the youngest win in league history. In 2004 he became UFC champion. At age 39, he is the #3 ranked fighter in the ferocious middleweight division. In short, he has seen and done it all.
And in a recent interview with Brazil’s SporTv, the fighter indicated he is not impressed with the league’sReebok Athlete Outfitting Policy.
“MMA is a lot closer to entertainment than sport these days,” said Belfort, as translate byLucas Rezende for BE. “I’m not satisfied with the way the company is handling sponsorship. We are pretty much living in slavery. We can’t use our own sponsors, they are banned inside the Octagon. We have no properties.”
“The good thing about breaking records is when you’re not worried about it. When you are, it becomes frustrating. My happiness comes from within. Breaking records is what I do best. I hope I can leave a legacy which fighters can use to raise awareness about a minimum wage pay. It’s a contact sport. I don’t think it’s fair for someone to earn 500 dollars to be elbowed in the face. There has to be a retirement plan, which does not exist now. That’s something for the next generation. They need to save their money and invest. They need to know the athlete life will end.”
“All my next fights could be my last. So you should make your dream as if it was your last, too. I’m very happy with my career and everything I conquered. I do this because I love it, today. I’m still a voice to be heard. I can still help the sport.”
Vitor Belfort fights Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in the co-main event of UFC 198 on May 14, in Curitiba, Brazil