ONE Championship has added another UFC veteran to its roster.
After initial reports last week, ONE has confirmed Brazilian MMA legend Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort has signed with the promotion.
Hailing from Rio De Janeiro, Belfort is one of the most popular mixed martial artists to ever come out of Brazil.
A BJJ black belt under the legendary Carlson Gracie, Belfort became one of the earliest stars of the sport, making his professional debut in 1996 at the age of 19. In a career that has spanned over two decades and 41 professional bouts, Belfort has become a Heavyweight Tournament Champion, a Light Heavyweight World Champion in two different organizations, and a perennial top contender in the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions.
While trained as a grappler, it was Belfort’s lightning-fast hands and devastating knockout power that brought him undeniable success in his mixed martial arts career. Over the years he has collected a remarkable 18 wins via knockout in his 26 professional career victories.
Chatri Sityodtong, chairman and CEO of ONE Championship, said the signing comes as ONE expands into South America.
“Vitor is hands down, one of the biggest names in mixed martial arts. He is a legend across the world, and we are thrilled to have him as ONE expands into South America. A world champion in multiple weight divisions, Vitor is a massive addition to our ever-growing roster of ONE Championship elite athletes. ”
A bonafide legend in the sport, Belfort has notable victories over the likes of Randy Couture, Wanderlei Silva, Rich Franklin, Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold, and Dan Henderson, twice. Belfort has also faced other big-name stars such as Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, and Lyoto Machida, among others. He now looks to continue his legendary career with ONE Championship.
“I have been in this sport since I was 19 years old, and have been fortunate enough to witness its growth and evolution firsthand. I am grateful to so many for this incredible opportunity,” Belfort said.
Details about his potential opponents, weight division and debut will be known later. But Belfort said he was eyeing a championship title.
“ONE Championship is the Home of Martial Arts, and I plan to become a ONE World Champion in front of some of the best martial arts fans in the world.”