After Belfort was KO’d by Lyoto Machida last May at UFC 224, the Brazilian star announced he was retiring and left his gloves in the Octagon. But, since Belfort had also talked about the possibility of fighting beyond the end of his UFC deal, many speculated that the now 41-year-old would return to the cage.
In the press release announcing Belfort’s signing, the former UFC champ stated:
“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. First of all, I would like to thank my wife Joana and my children, Davi, Victoria and Kyara for their infinite love and support. My management, Lloyd Pierson and Ballengee Group, guided me through this process with unmatched expertise.I would like to of course thank Chatri Sityodtong and ONE Championship, who gave me this great honor to fight in front of the Asian audience. 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.”
Belfort will head to ONE carrying a record of 26-14, 1 NC. No details regarding his ONE debut were provided; however, in an interview with MMA Fighting, Belfort called for a modified rules, boxing match with Roy Jones Jr.