ByJack Sullivan, writer at
I grew up in Las Vegas so I have learned to love watching people fight and talking about it.
Jack Sullivan

Vitor Belfort just suffered his third, straight loss in the UFC at the hands of Kelvin Gastelum, and fans have started to question how much longer he has left in the sport. Though the "Phenom" has visibly lost a step in the last couple of years, there is no denying the accomplishments he has on his record.

He is the youngest person to ever win a UFC Tournament, he has 18 KOs and 18 first-round finishes, and his career has lasted 20 years. The vast majority of his career was spent fighting in PRIDE and the UFC, the two most storied promotions in MMA history, was the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and is one of the best Brazilian exports the sport has ever seen.

Though his record now sits at 25-14, that record may be misleading to the quality of fighter he is. Those 14 losses have come at the hands of 12 fighters who have left a major impact on the sport. Here are the accomplishments of all the fighters Vitor has fallen to.

Randy Couture (Twice)

Belfort may now fight at middleweight and was once the champ at 205 pounds, but in the early days of his career, he competed as an undersized heavyweight. Though he started his career well, it is no easy task to face the legend Randy Couture in your fifth pro fight. Belfort would lose to Couture at UFC 15, but would later avenge the loss to earn the title at UFC 46. However, Belfort would later lose his UFC belt in the trilogy fight at UFC 49.

Couture's Accomplishments

  • UFC Tournament winner
  • UFC Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight Champion; first person to win a UFC belt in two weight classes
  • UFC Hall of Famer
  • Oldest fighter to win a UFC fight (47)
  • Oldest champion in UFC history (43-45)

Kazushi Sakuraba

Though Sakuraba did compete in the UFC, his real damage was done in PRIDE, where he quickly became one of the organization's most popular fighters. There is no shame for Belfort losing to a man known as the "Gracie Killer."

Sakuraba's Accomplishments

  • UFC Tournament winner
  • Pride Middleweight title contender
  • Dream Welterweight title contender
  • Pride Tournament semi-finalist
  • Tied for most submission wins in PRIDE history (11)
  • Winner of longest fight in PRIDE history (90 minutes)

Chuck Liddell

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe no one epitomizes the early Zuffa era of the UFC like Chuck Liddell. "The Iceman's" heavy fists picked up knockout after knockout, making him a fan favorite in the sport. The fact that Vitor was able to survive and make it to a decision against Liddell is no joke, not to mention that Belfort had just switched from heavyweight to light heavyweight and was dealing with the new weight cut.

Liddell's Accomplishments

  • UFC Light Heavyweight Champion
  • UFC Hall of Famer
  • Most knockouts in UFC light heavyweight history (10)
  • Most wins in UFC light heavyweight history (16)

Tito Ortiz

Another legend in the sport, Tito Ortiz is one of the most recognizable fighters in MMA history. It was clear early on that Ortiz was special, considering his first pro fight was in the UFC. When he and Vitor fought, it was a close bout that ended in a split decision which honestly could have gone Belfort's way.

Ortiz's Accomplishments

  • UFC Light Heavyweight Champion
  • UFC Hall of Famer
  • Bellator Light Heavyweight title contender

Alistair Overeem (Twice)

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Alistair Overeem is one of the most decorated strikers in combat sports history. He has compiled both an impressive kickboxing record and has over 40 wins in MMA to his name. Overeem and Belfort first met in Pride where Overeem showed he was more than just a striker by picking up a slick submission win. The pair met a year later in Strikeforce where Belfort lost by a close decision. Overeem is still one of the best heavyweights in the world, so there is no shame in Vitor losing to the bigger fighter.

Overeem's Accomplishments

  • K-1 Grand Prix Champion
  • Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion
  • DREAM Interim Heavyweight Champion
  • PRIDE Gran Prix semifinalist
  • Only fighter to hold three belts simultaneously

Dan Henderson

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

If your fists have become the stuff of legend, you know you are a great fighter. Dan Henderson found success in every organization he competed in. The Olympic wrestler competed in the UFC, PRIDE and Strikeforce, and was always at the top of the sport until his retirement last year. Hendo and Belfort first fought in PRIDE where Henderson earned the decision win. Vitor went on to avenge this loss not once, but twice with stunning knockout finishes. Those two fights essentially wiped this loss off Vitor's record.

Henderson's Accomplishments

  • UFC Tournament winner
  • PRIDE Welterweight Champion
  • PRIDE Gran Prix Champion
  • PRIDE Middleweight Champion
  • UFC Light Heavyweight title contender
  • UFC Middleweight title contender
  • Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion
  • Strikeforce Middleweight title contender
  • US Olympic wrestler

Anderson Silva

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

When you go up against the GOAT, it is to be expected that you can lose the fight. Belfort was coming off a five-fight win streak to earn a shot at the 185-pound title in the UFC. However, he was going up against Anderson Silva, who was in the midst of what would eventually become the longest win streak in UFC history (16). Silva won with one of the best head kicks ever seen inside the Octagon, one that would have dropped any opponent.

Silva's Accomplishments

  • UFC Middleweight Champion
  • Shooto Middleweight Champion
  • Longest win streak in UFC history (16)
  • Most consecutive title defenses in UFC history (10)
  • Most finishes in UFC title fights (9)
  • Most finishes in the UFC (14)
  • Longest reigning champion in UFC history (2457 days)
  • Most knockdowns in UFC history (17)

Jon Jones

Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports
Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

If Silva isn't the greatest fighter in UFC history, then Jon Jones is a strong contender. Jones' only loss has come from a DQ, and in every other fight, he has seemed unstoppable. Jones fought Belfort in his current 13-fight win streak to defend his belt. Belfort was only the third person at the time to ever take Jones into the championship rounds, but was caught early in the fourth with an americana.

Jones' Accomplisments

  • Youngest Champion in UFC History (23)
  • UFC Light Heavyweight Champion
  • Most title defenses in UFC Light Heavyweight history (8)
  • Most submission wins in UFC Light Heavyweight history (5)
  • Most wins in UFC Light Heavyweight history (16)
  • Longest win streak in UFC Light Heavyweight history (13)

Chris Weidman

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Vitor met up with Chris Weidman inside the Octagon when he was still on his incredible streak. Weidman was 12-0 prior to the fight and had already taken out greats like Silva and Lyoto Machida. Belfort was looking to be the first one to take out the American phenom and blitzed him early in the fight. However, after weathering the storm, Weidman was able to put him away.

Weidman's Accomplishments

  • UFC Middleweight Champion
  • Division I All-American wrestler
  • Ended Silva's record win streak.
  • ROC Middleweight Champion

Ronaldo Souza

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Ronaldo Souza has become immensely popular in the sport as he has been waiting for a title shot. One of the best BJJ practitioners in the world, Souza is a threat to anyone in the Octagon. While he was waiting for his title shot, "Jacare" decided to take on Belfort at UFC 198 in Brazil. A motivated Souza came in and earned his ninth win in 10 fights with a first round TKO. Jacare has stayed at the top of one of the toughest divisions in the UFC, and is still looking for his chance at the belt.

Jacare's Accomplishments

  • Eight-time BJJ world champion
  • DREAM Gran Prix Runner-Up
  • Strikeforce Middleweight Champion
  • Two-time submission grappling world champion

Gegard Mousasi

Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports
Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Gegard Mousasi has been on an ass-kicking tour as of late, but has always been a decorated martial artist. He started off his career undefeated in kickboxing and despite his age, he already has over 40 pro wins in MMA. In his recent meteoric rise, Mousasi took on Belfort and cemented himself as one of the best in the sport with a win.

Mousasi's Accomplishments

  • DREAM Middleweight Champion
  • DREA Light Heavyweight Champion
  • Only person win DREAM belts in two weight classes
  • Cage Warrior Middleweight Champion
  • Strikeforce Middleweight Champion
  • 2008 Fighter of the Year
  • Fastest finish in a title fight in Strikeforce history (1:00)

Kelvin Gastelum

Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports
Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Many people might assume that Belfort has taken a step down in competition with Kelvin Gastelum, but he is proving that is not the case. Gastelum is undefeated at middleweight and is one of the most successful Ultimate Fighter winners to date. His two losses were both split decisions, including one against current UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley. His win over Belfort cemented Gastelum as a serious contender and threat at 185 pounds.

Gastelum's Accomplishments

  • TUF 17 winner
  • 9-0 as a middleweight
  • 2014 Breakthrough Fighter of the Year
  • 5 first-round finishes
Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports
Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Belfort's 20-year career has not been perfect. He has had more than a few losses, but they have all been to some of the best fighters this sport has ever seen. He has given us some of the best fights ever, and that is what he should be remembered for. His 44-second destruction of the Wanderlei Silva and the fact that he was a UFC Champion at 26 are incredible. The fact that no fighter was more dangerous in the first round than Belfort made him a "must watch" fighter for two decades. If this is the end, thank you, Vitor.


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