As the “Phenom” Vitor Belfort prepares for battle against the reigning middleweight champ, Anderson Silva on Feb. 5 at UFC 126, he has brought in new aid to help improve his camp further. Boxing idol Mike Tyson has agreed to help join the Belfort camp as the two have found much in common. Known for being the youngest WBC heavyweight champ at the age of 20 with a TKO of Trevor Berbick in 1986,Tyson and Belfort share similar stories of early success. Belfort entered the UFC in 1997 at the age of 19 and was also similar with aggressive knockouts throughout his MMA career.
“Mike Tyson is a big idol, and he crossed the boundaries of sport,” Belfort said. “He was a great inspiration to many athletes and in my career since I was a child. We have much in common and had fame too soon. We always have good conversations.”
Belfort will be coming into his championship fight with a five fight win-streak and after over a year layoff. The champion Silva currently carries a 13 fight win-streak with his last loss being by disqualification against Yushin Okami. Belfort talked about his prior staredown with Silva back at the United Arab Emirates when they were originally scheduled to fight, but Belfort was forced to pull out due to injury.
“I think Anderson has the attitude of taking it personally,” Belfort said. “Afterward, I went to try to talk to him, and he said he wouldn’t talk to me. I think he was upset that I wanted to fight him, because he thought it was personal. It’s not personal; it’s a job. I thank God I was a guy who broke barriers and showed that people can grow. Some people who once criticized me now see me differently.”