Vitor Belfort is set to become the latest UFC star to cross over to boxing.
The 44-year-old, who is 1-0 as a boxer after his 2006 debut, is set to fight Hall of Famer Evander Holyfield on a card hosted by Donald Trump.
The bout was due to be between former UFC champion Belfort and Oscar De La Hoya, before the latter was hospitalised with coronavirus.
The Phenom has a large fan base from his feats in the Octagon but may have flown under the radar of boxing supporters as he attempts his second run at conquering the sweet science.
So just who is he? Let’s take a look…
Vitor Belfort: Profile
Belfort was born on April 1, 1977 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to a French-Brazilian father and a Greek-Brazilian mother.
The 26-14 mixed martial arts ace has three children with wife Joana Prado and the pair have both appeared in the Brazilian edition of Playboy.
He has long been an advocate to raise awareness for human trafficking following the of disappearance of his sister in 2004.
Priscila Belfort was was kidnapped in Brazil and Elaine Paiva confessed to both her kidnapping and murder three years later.
Yet her remains were never found despite additional suspects Leonardo Luiz Batista and Leandro Ferreira Fernandes also being arrested in later years.
MMA star Vitor opened up on his family’s pain in 2020, as he told Fightful: “We don’t know. My mom thinks she is in sex trafficking still.
“I think she was brutally murdered by these people that live in a slum in Brazil.”
He added: “My sister has been missing since 2004. Human trafficking is a huge thing. No one is doing anything about it.
“We gotta stop it. Someone is doing something really, really bad. That’s my fight, that’s my cause.”
Vitor Belfort: Career to date
Belfort is tied for the most knockouts in UFC history with 12 while he also beat two fighters in his debut for the company at UFC 12 in 1997.
During his first run with Dana White, the Brazilian went 5-1, with his sole defeat coming to Hall of Famer Randy Couture.
Belfort then appeared in Japan’s PRIDE Fighting Championships, recovering from a points loss to Kazushi Sakuraba to record four successive wins.
He ultimately enjoyed three runs with the UFC before he was memorably knocked out by Lyoto Machida in his final octagon outing at UFC 244.
Belfort’s second stint with the MMA promotion proved his most successful as he captured the light-heavyweight title by beating Couture.
He won the 2004 fight in 49 seconds despite the bout taking place just weeks after his sister vanished.
The former champion was 8-6 during his third stint with the UFC and was knocked out four times in his last five bouts.
However, his defeat to Kelvin Gastelum was changed to a no contest after the middleweight contender tested positive for marijuana.
Vitor Belfort: What has been said?
Belfort said in June, that after the De La Hoya bout he would fight Holyfield anyway, and now that is happening sooner than expected.
He told TMZSports: “This fight will sell like Muhammed Ali and George Foreman, it’s because skills, it’s because legacy, it’s because they paved the way for this generation here today.
“After September, December is me vs Holyfield. Get ready for the crossover! We are taking over, Triller is bringing the fights. A huge dream.”
Brazil star Belfort has also recently claimed that he could beat both Logan Paul and younger brother Jake even if he fought one sibling after the other.
Speaking to The Sun, he said: “That kid Jake is doing good business, he’s getting good traction, I respect that.
“I’d fight him and his brother in the same night, I’d put a beating on him and his brother in the same night, there’s no doubt about it.”
Holyfield v Belfort: Date and how to watch
The main event of Holyfield v Belfort on Triller Fight Club will take place on Sunday, September 12 and will air on streaming service FITE.TV.
The fight was due to be held in the Staples Center, Los Angeles in California, but has now been moved to Florida’s Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
David Haye will be making his comeback on the undercard against Joe Fournier while Tito Ortiz will face Anderson Silva.
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