Vitor Belfort is a former UFC champion in two divisions, but he understands that what the likes of Jon Jones and others have done as of late are why the UFC is where it is today.
Belfort will attempt to unseat Jones this Saturday night when the two meet at UFC 152.
Belfort earned the shot at Jones when no one else seemed to want it. The 35-year-old has gone 7-1 in his last eight fights, but has not competed at light heavyweight for years.
I fought a lot of (my career) when people criticized us, saying we were never going to succeed. To see the sport growing, to have Jon Jones as a champion, a guy who preaches a good message, this is our living. The most important thing is to leave a legacy in this sport so everyone can respect what we do.
“The Phenom” has a resume that features wins over the likes of Rich Franklin, Randy Couture and Wanderlei Silva, but it is what he does going forward that excites him the most.
“In like, we all have goals, dreams to fulfill,” Belfort said. “I learned something that is really important in life. To accomplish things when you are young, in the past, (to) make history (is nice), but the most important thing is living right now, in the present, the movement.”