It appears that the next leg of Vitor Belfort’s foray into boxing has been found. The former UFC 12 tournament champion, UFC light heavyweight champion, and multiple time title contender left the Octagon back in 2018 having made known his intentions to retire from MMA.
A contract deal with ONE Championship followed shortly afterward, but failed to produce a return to competition before Belfort parted ways with the promotion. Instead, the years since have seen the ‘Phenom’ turn his attention to a budding boxing career.
The Brazilian first tried his hand in the ring way back in 2006, picking up a quick KO win in the process. In 2021 he made his return, with an exhibition bout against boxing legend and former undisputed two-division champion Evander Holyfield. A shell of his former talent, the then 44-year-old Belfort dispatched Holyfield just 1:49 seconds into the first round of their contest.
During the recent Misfits & DAZN X Series boxing event featuring celebrity pugilist KSI—fighting two opponents in the same night—heavyweight boxer Hasim Rahman Jr. announced on the broadcast that he would be meeting Belfort in the ring for a professional bout on October 15th.
The son of former heavyweight boxing champion Hasim Rahman, Rahman Jr. recently made headlines when a planned PPV bout against Jake Paul fell apart back in August of this year. Concerns over Rahman’s inability to make the contracted weight led to the match being scrapped just one week out from fight night. Rahman went on to hold an unofficial weigh-in for the event to try and prove he could have met the contracted limit, but came in 1.6 lbs over.
Speaking recently to The Mirror, Rahman Jr. said that while a fight with Belfort may not have the same cache as the Paul bout, he believes that Belfort is a much more difficult opponent.
“It’s not quite Jake Paul but I believe that my opponent is 20 times better than Jake Paul and 50 times better than anybody Jake Paul has fought,” Rahman Jr. enthused. “KSI said earlier during his press conference that his goal was to expose Jake as the phoney and fraud that he is and I’m on that same page.
“I’m sill chasing him down, but I’m not going to wait for him I want to put the car in drive, put my foot down and keep my finger on the pulse of all this YouTube boxing extravaganza that’s going on. I’m in the mix now, and it’s going to be very hard to get me out.”
The 31-year-old last stepped into the ring in April of this year, taking on Kenzie Morrison—himself the son of former WBO heavyweight champion Tommy Morrison. Morrison handed Rahman Jr. the first loss of his pro boxing career, via fifth round knockout.
Misfits & DAZN X Series 002 is set to go down at the Utilita Arena in Sheffield, England on October 15th. Alongside the heavyweight fight, a celebrity boxing match between YouTube pranksters Jay Swingler and Chad Lebaron (aka Cherdleys) has also been announced for the card.