Vitor Belfort is a Brazilian mixed martial artist and former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. Belfort was born in Rio de Janeiro and studied jiu-jitsu with the Gracie family, namely Carlson Gracie. As of March 2013, Belfort is ranked the #2 middleweight in the world.
He moved on to compete in the UFC, where he was given the nickname The Phenom. He beat two fighters in his debut event in the UFC, winning the UFC 12 Heavyweight Tournament. At age 19, Belfort became the youngest fighter to ever score a victory inside the octagon. Belfort's next match saw him score a technical knockout (TKO) against the UFC 6 runner-up Tank Abbott in a non-tournament fight, knocking Abbott down and finishing him with a ground and pound attack.
In 1997 Belfort fought against American Greco-Roman wrestler Randy Couture, the first of three fights they would have. Belfort was upset by TKO 8:16 into the match, his boxing skills negated by Couture's clinch fighting.
After this defeat, he would fight twice more in the UFC. The first of these fights was against a training partner of his, Joe Charles, who he defeated quickly via armbar without throwing a single punch. A year later, Belfort faced rising Brazilian star and future PRIDE Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva. Catching Silva early with a left cross, Belfort chased him across the cage with a flurry of punches, TKOing Silva in just 44 seconds.