Despite referencing a final appearance in the UFC earlier this year, Belfort, 40, said he has “five more fights” left in him, immediately following the win. It was his first win since November 2015.
“I’ve got five more fights to go,” Belfort said. “I’m going to reinvent myself.”
The UFC veteran trained for this fight at Tristar MMA in Montreal, and said preparing for a fight away from his residence in south Florida reinvigorated his career.
He did show brief flashes of the old Belfort, particularly in the second round when he hurt Marquardt, of Colorado, with a left body kick and uncorked a flurry of punches near the fence.
Marquardt, 38, had his share of moments as well. He took Belfort down early in the first round, although referee Osiris Maia stood him up almost immediately. He cut Belfort over his left eye with a hook in the second round.
ESPN.com scored the fight 29-28 for Marquardt, but it officially goes down as his second loss in a row. He is now 1-3 in his last four.
Assuncao spoils Moares’s UFC debut
Former WSOF bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes definitely looks comfortable against top-10 talent. But he came up short in his UFC debut.
UFC veteran Raphael Assuncao (25-5) edged Moraes (18-5-1) via split decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29), handing the 29-year-old his first loss since 2011.
All three rounds of the 135-pound fight were close. It was contested exclusively on the feet, as neither bantamweight seemed interested in taking it to the floor. According to Fightmetric, Moraes outlanded Assuncao in total strikes 41 to 37.
The two traded leg kicks early and continued to do so throughout. Moraes enjoyed a visible speed advantage but struggled to string together consistent offense. Assuncao, who is now 9-1 in his past 10, hurt Moraes with a right hand late in the first round.
Neither one ever seemed in full control of the bout. Moraes’ speed appeared to bother Assuncao from start to finish, but he managed to open a cut on the bridge of Moraes’ nose in the second round.
Brazilian 185-pounder Borrachinha moves to 2-0 in UFC
The fight was back-and-forth throughout, with both middleweights sacrificing defense for offense. Bamgbose shot hard for takedowns early and landed hard punches to the body after Borrachinha defended the initial shot.
Borrachinha responded with a huge body kick of his own, which Bamgbose, of New York, tried to shake off. As Bamgbose smiled in an attempt to hide the kick’s effects, Borrachinha closed on him with leg kicks, a straight right and elbows from the clinch.
In the second round, Bamgbose slipped on a kick attempt, which Borrachinha capitalized on. He followed Bamgbose to the floor and unloaded punches out of his guard, until referee John McCarthy stepped in. The win improves Borrachinha’s UFC record to 2-0.
“I think I’m ready for the top 10,” Borrachinha said through a translator.
Medeiros stuns Silva in enemy territory
The finish came at the 2:01 mark of the second round, when Silva went down from a flush left hook by Medeiros. Silva appeared to sit up and reach for Medeiros, but referee Eduardo Herdy elected to intervene.
It was a relatively close fight to that point. Silva, of Brazil, landed several hard leg kicks early on and knocked Medeiros down with a knee late in the first round.
Medeiros, of Makaha, Hawaii, ate Silva’s best shots, smiled and waived him forward. He wobbled Silva with a right hand to the temple in the opening minutes of the fight, and then cashed in on the perfectly timed left hook.
It is the seventh knockout win of Medeiros’s career. For Silva, 32, it is his fourth loss by knockout. He’s been finished twice in his past three fights.