A week after his first-round TKO loss to the undefeated champion, "The Phenom" returned to Brazil and held a press conference in his gym in Rio de Janeiro, and revealed that a pre-fight right shoulder injury prevented him from using his right hand against Weidman.
"I spent too much energy there," Belfort said of the moment when he threw punches at Weidman against the fence. "If I took one step back, waited a little bit, I would have knocked him out. I’m sure I would have knocked him out. But I started to punch with the left hand, didn’t punch too much with the right hand because I dislocated my shoulder, so I wouldn’t be able to throw hard punches. That was his moment. He’s really tough on the ground."
Belfort, who won’t require surgery on the injured shoulder, denies gassing in the first round. According to "The Phenom", Weidman’s well-timed takedown and ground control didn’t allow him to do anything.
"You can’t throw a lot of punches and don’t get a bit tired, but it wasn’t my gas that stopped me from fighting," Belfort said. "When we went to the ground, he used his weight and was able to land punches. That was his moment.
"I spent six hours watching the tape. I was almost punching myself," he continued. "I looked like those guys (fighting) in a bar. How do you fight like that? Vitor Belfort and I discussed it. I said: ‘Why did you do that? Why didn’t you use your experience? Why didn’t you take a step back?’ Mistakes. You make mistakes and have to fix them."
At 38 years old and with three losses in UFC title fights since 2011, Belfort won’t retire from the sport.
"My family supports me a lot," he said. "What is retirement? What is being old or young? Everything you do in the wrong time if bad. Everything has it time. As long as I have this desire, this joy, we might see me fighting in the Octagon until I’m 89. Is it possible?"