Triller CEO Ryan Kavanaugh tells Mike Coppinger that Oscar De La Hoya’s September 11th comeback against former UFC champion Vitor Belfort, previously planned as an exhibition but now slated to be a “real fight,” will take place at Los Angeles, California’s Staples Center. Per Kavanaugh, the fight will be eight two-minute rounds at 180 pounds.
De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KO) is coming up on 13 years since his last fight, a one-sided rout courtesy of Manny Pacquiao. The defeat capped a 2-3 skid that saw him stopped in nine by Bernard Hopkins and narrowly defeated by Floyd Mayweather in what remains one of “Money’s” closest fights.
Dubbed “The Phenom,” Brazil’s Belfort (26-14 MMA, 1-0 Boxing) burst onto the MMA scene in 1996 with four consecutive stoppage wins in under 80 seconds apiece. Then came a thorough schooling from Randy Couture, kicking off two roller coaster decades that pitted him against some of the best the sport had to offer. A drop from 205 pounds to 185 reinvigorated his career in the late ‘00s, and while he failed to topple champions Anderson Silva and Jon Jones, his subsequent use of Testosterone Replacement Therapy created one of the most terrifying men in combat sports: TRTtor.
Once he’d deflated, he hit a 2-4 (1 NC) skid that would have been 2-5 if Kelvin Gastelum hadn’t popped for marijuana after starching Belfort. He hasn’t fought since Lyoto Machida front kicked his face off in 2018.
To his credit, Belfort never lacked in punching power and figures to be far larger than the returning “Golden Boy,” making him a damn sight more dangerous than the likes of Ben Askren. It will be interesting to see whether CSAC approves of this and how the 44-year-old handles the weight limit.