Vitor Belfort has been calling for a "Legends League" branch of the UFC for at least...a month now, and it looks like he's finally been given a match that fits the bill.
According to Combate, Belfort has been booked to take on fellow veteran Nate "The Great" Marquardt at #UFC212 in June, in a fight that one has to imagine is a do-or-die scenario for "The Phenom" (but probably isn't).
One of the longest tenured fighters competing in the UFC today, the 40-year-old Belfort has dropped his last three bouts by way of TKO (and four of his last five overall), with two of those finishes coming in the form of absolute shutouts at the hands of Gegard Mousasi and Kelvin Gastelum. While Belfort has repeatedly stated his wishes to continue fighting for the foreseeable future, one has to imagine that another quick loss to Marquardt would potentially help steer him towards the conversation.
Marquardt, on the other hand, has managed to stave off talks of retirement thanks to recent(ish) wins over Tamdan McCrory and CB Dolloway. However, the former middleweight title challenger has won just 3 out of his past 10 contests dating back to 2013, with 4 of those losses coming by way of TKO.
A lot in common
For all intents and purposes, Belfort vs. Marquardt represents exactly the kind of "Legends" fight that Belfort has been calling for in recent weeks. Both fighters have been competing professionally since the mid-to-late 90's, both have maintained long, prestigious careers in the UFC (and other organizations), and both have known what it's like to taste championship gold before (Marquardt having captured the Strikeforce welterweight title by defeating none other than current UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley). Heck, both have even challenged Anderson Silva for the middleweight title, with both losing via TKO in the first round.
Marquardt and Belfort share a lot of common ground, simply put, and a matchup between the two is the kind of thing that MMA Mathematicians dream about. But do MMA fans really want a Legends League?
Simply put, yes and no. While you won't find many casual fans or media throwing their support behind the idea of seeing two over-the-hill fighters competing for the trophy of "Most Concussions", the continued fan interest in fighters like Belfort (who headlined UFC Fortaleza despite losing his last two fights) shows that there's still plenty of money to be made off them, heartless though it may seem.
Personally, the only arena I'd prefer to see Belfort and Marquardt compete in would be that of the church. Brings "Bible-beating" to a WHOLE NOTHA LEVEL.