Mixed martial arts fighter: When Vitor Belfort stepped into the Octagon versus Marvin Eastman it marked only the third time in three years he'll have strapped on gloves in competition. At 25 years of age the Brazilian is on the cusp of what should be his prime. Instead, Belfort's career has played out with more ups and downs than Martha Stewart's. Freak injuries. Allergies. Game shows. What should have been an already stellar career has been all too often marred by Belfort's bizarre inability to come to terms with what made him famous.
You name it he's probably dabbled in it; an all too frustrating fact for his fans that continue to hope for the return of the gun-slinging kid who took the mixed martial arts world by storm in 1997. Can he again crack opponents on the skull with regularity and, in turn, have fans clamor to watch him fight? More importantly, is he even interested in any of that?
"My life has been changed," says Belfort, who's always been religious but now feels his relationship with Jesus Christ is the most important thing in his life. "I'm getting married at the end of the year. Everything is different. Even my struggles are totally different because I know I'm going to recover. With Him everything is easy.
"I always trust Him, but it's hard to do what He wants you to do, like give yourself up, [or] follow Him. And that's what I'm trying to do now. I'm trying to follow His will."
"People used to say when I had my losses that 'Vitor is over,' but you have to watch yourself as a professional. Some guys win, but people don't want to see them fight. I just pray to God to do what He wants me to do in my life."
But Belfort likes to say that it's not the body that wins fights; it's the mind and spirit which "control everything." No matter what direction you try to take the conversation, he always seems to slip a mention his relationship with Jesus and how it's impacted his spirituality into the answer.
"Jesus has saved my life," he says. "Changed everything. Born again.
"He's in my corner all the time.
"He's going to be in everyone's corner. He knows what you deserve. You do the possible and he does the impossible. That's how it works. He doesn't do everything for you."