When Vitor Belfort knocked out Terry Martin at Affliction: Banned (see above video, in case you didn’t get the FSN broadcast), it was hard not to think that “The Phenom” was back. But what we didn’t know was that he did it with a broken hand. As he told the Xtreme Couture blog, he basically fought the whole bout that way:
XC: When did you break your hand?
Vitor: The first punch I threw. It was a straight left. I knew right away it broke. But I had to keep going. I couldn’t throw my combinations I had worked on. Coach Tompkins was yelling at me to throw my combos. At the end of the first round I went back to the corner and Tompkins was yelling at me, “Why don’t you throw your combos?” I said, “My hand is broken”. He said, “Ok” and Randy said, “Just go first. Go for it and finish the fight”.
I said to myself, “Ok, I’ll do that”. It was great chemistry in the corner. I went out and I did what they said. I was looking to land a big shot and get it over with. It’s my left hand, which is my power hand. I went out and threw the kick at Terry. When he caught my kick I let him take me down so I could soften him up with the elbows. I knew I could get back to my feet when I needed to. Then I set him up for the knee. After that I was able to pick his head up with the uppercut and end it with the straight left.
Belfort says he won’t need surgery, but will have to take about four weeks off before getting back in action. He also says that he has a contract with Affliction and wants to fight for them again soon, hopefully against Frank Shamrock. While that might not be the most feasible request at the current time, perhaps a derogatory t-shirt (always a favorite of ours) will get things moving in the right direction.
An unrelated but also interesting moment in the interview comes when Belfort comments on how he first got into MMA under the guidance of Carlson Gracie, before things got ugly:
XC: How did you get into fighting?
Vitor: Through Carlson Gracie. I was training with one of his students and he told me I needed to train with Carlson because I was too tough for the other guys in the gym. Carlson told me I would be the greatest fighter he ever trained and that he would fulfill my dreams to be a top fighter. Carlson was the guy who held up the Gracie name for a long time. But when I met him he didn’t have many followers.
XC: What was your relationship with Carlson Gracie like?
Vitor: It was like father and son. Back then It was wonderful. But when the money and fame came everything started falling apart.
XC: How so?
Vitor: He used to not like to train and I like to train a lot. I made some mistakes and he made some mistakes. I didn’t like the type of life he was living. He didn’t want to stop living like he was. It got to the point I felt I had to go so we separated. Then I came back to try to make it work, after that we separated for good. I spoke to him before he died. He said he forgave me. He felt like I betrayed him, even though I never did. It was a business thing. He wasn’t a good business man. The whole thing was sad.
Mo’ money, mo’ problems. A familiar story.