Vitor Belfort, 44, has been very straightforward about his decision to jump into boxing. In the latest interview, he explained why MMA is not the best option for someone of his age.
“Right now, fighters are having a short career, and the more violent it is, the shorter it becomes,” Belfort told MMA Junkie. “It’s better for the promoters, not so good for the fighters. Right now, and even (UFC president) Dana White has said it, this is a young man’s sport.”
The Phenom is set to face Oscar De La Hoya in a grudge match on September 11 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. They will highlight the main event of a Triller Fight Club event.
Belfort feels that the rules in MMA promotions are going to hurt the fighters in the long run.
“It’s not changing or adapting to what we think it should. The rules are not there for us. They’re not adapting in a way that’s safe for the fighters,” he said.
The Phenom feels that the sport needs a fighters’ union as well to help the martial artists overcome their issues. He seemed to be referring to the pay complaints that UFC fighters have been speaking about for a while.
“(MMA is) good just for certain people in their 20s,” the 44-year-old said. “I feel like when you become a little older, it’s too hard on your body, so it’s hard to stay relevant for so long because the rules have never been reviewed. We’ve never changed the rules. The fighters are not involved. We don’t have a union. We don’t have (someone) protecting our fighters. We have to change something for the future. This will never be an Olympic sport the way it is right now.”
Santos puts his money on Belfort
Boxing trainer Derik Santos feels that Vitor Belfort has what it takes to overwhelm the Golden Boy.
“I think we can win a decision. I believe we’re going to win a decision. I’ll say that clearly,” Santos said.
The veteran boxing trainer also had two scents on how Oscar De La Hoya will perform in the super fight.
“I do just because I’m a detail-type coach,” Santos said. “But I think if you understand fighters’ psychology, Oscar is going to revert to being Oscar of old. So I know he’s going to go to the left hook, the lead hand uppercut – I understand that. Those are his two best punches. He’s not all of a sudden going to come out with something new.”
“He’s an elite athlete and the athlete he’s going to revert to remembering what they knew best. I’m sure he’s going to try to use the jab a lot and some speed. How long he can maintain the speed is a different question, but I’ve got a pretty good idea of what Oscar is going to try to do.”
In a nutshell, Santos is not underestimating the boxing veteran, but he feels that Belfort has the upper hand.