Vitor Belfort Beats Nate Marquardt Via Unanimous Decision at UFC 212

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJune 3, 2017

FORTALEZA, BRAZIL - MARCH 11:  Vitor Belfort of Brazil salutes the crowd after his loss to Kelvin Gastelum in their middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at CFO - Centro de Formaco Olimpica on March 11, 2017 in Fortaleza, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

In possibly the final fight of his UFC career, Vitor Belfort went out a winner with a unanimous-decision victory over Nate Marquardt at UFC 212 on Saturday in Brazil. 

All three judges scored the fight 29-28 for Belfort, a surprising result simply because the match went the full 15 minutes. 

Per USA Today's Mike Bohn, this marks Belfort's first decision since 2007. 

Twitter users shared their thoughts on Belfort's win:

Belfort is one of the UFC's longest-tenured fighters, as he made his debut with the promotion at UFC 12 in 1997. He bounced around other organizations, including Pride and Strikeforce, but always found his way back to the UFC. 

It's been a rough go for Belfort lately. The 40-year-old entered Saturday's fight having lost three of his last five bouts, and Kelvin Gastelum knocked him out in a result that was later overturned to a no-contest due to Gastelum's failing a post-fight drug test for marijuana in March. 

Despite his age, and the wear and tear on his body, Belfort is not completely retiring from competition:

Per MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani, Belfort didn't sound like he was ready to call it a career after his win:

There is nowhere else for Belfort to go in the UFC. He's still enough of a star to keep fighting because of his history with the promotion, but his pool of potential opponents is small due to his recent failings. 

Belfort is leaving an impressive legacy. The Brazilian star holds UFC records for most knockout wins in company history (12) and most first-round finishes in UFC history (13). He also won the light heavyweight title in 2004.