Brian Cain's Mental Performance Mastery Podcast

PODCAST: The Rise of Vitor Belfort: How a Shy Brazilian Teen Became an MMA Superstar

by Brian Cain, MPM

Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort has dominated the mixed martial arts scene for over two decades and cemented his legacy as one of the greatest knockout artists the sport has ever seen, having faced off—and beaten—some of the most legendary names in the sport. 

He is a a former UFC Light Heavyweight and the UFC 12 Heavyweight Tournament champion top three all time in UFC finishes and still competing for world championships into his early 40’s.

On today’s podcast, Vitor opens about his legendary career, the faith that motivates him, and the mental performance techniques he’s utilized along the way and what he has learned about success from a life in mixed martial arts.

ATHLETES: What YOU should do now…

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If you found today’s video helpful and you’re interested in more cutting-edge mental performance strategies as an athlete, my 30 Days to Mental Performance Mastery Program is for you.

In this course, I’ll show you how to:

  • Compete with unshakable confidence each and every time you step into the arena
  • Perform at your best when it means the most—on a consistent basis
  • Create the elite mindset, routines, and habits of excellence you need to reach your potential and get the most our of your ability 

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COACHES: What you should do now…

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  • Get your athletes to perform their best when it means the most by using a SYSTEM to create an elite mindset. 
  • Compete at a higher level, more consistently—while managing distractions and adversity—by establishing the right routines. 
  • Create the championship culture you need to develop elite athletic leaders and cultivate a clear vision that keeps everyone motivated and juiced up. 

Drop your info below to learn the systems and secrets I use to help the top coaches in the world compete at an elite level—year after year.

PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION:

Brian Cain:

Hey, how you doing? Brian Cain, with the Brian Cain Mental Performance Mastery Podcast. And today, my guest is a mixed martial arts legend. Originally hailing from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort is a world champion mixed martial arts fighter.

Brian Cain:

He’s currently a member of the ONE Championship organization, and for more than two decades, he’s dominated the octagon in the ring, having faced off and beaten some of the most legendary names in the sport of mixed martial arts.

Brian Cain:

He’s both a former UFC light heavyweight champion and the UFC 12 tournament heavyweight champion. And he’s in the top three all time in UFC finishes. Vitor, welcome to the Brian Cain Mental Performance Mastery Podcast.

Vitor  Belfort:

Man, it’s a pleasure, Brian, to be here with you.

Brian Cain:

Well, I’m excited to have you, you know? And it’s been a fun journey that we’ve been on together here, through this world of MMA. And now working with your son as well, who’s one of the top quarterbacks in all of high school football. So, we got a lot of things we want to dive into here today. But first, I think, really, let’s have you start us at the beginning. What first drew you into the sport of fighting?

Vitor  Belfort:

Brian, I think it’s… First of all, I just want to give a shout out to all my fans and for all your customers. I appreciate what you have been done, not just for me with my son, but for a lot of top athletes in different sports. I recognize that the mental gym, it’s something that is a gym that you can train even when you’re not in the physical.

Vitor  Belfort:

When I was very young, and I was… Sport is my thing. I think my parents drew me in to the sports. I was a very active kid. They had divorced, and I had a lot of issues, like anger, I think. So, in the martial arts, judo, they brought me to judo to learn how to fall. You know, “Don’t break your arms.” I was breaking a lot of bones and was very early, and I fall in love, kind of, but was not too much action.

Vitor  Belfort:

I dive into so many sports, soccer, tennis, I played… You name it. I always wanted to compete. My dad was a volleyball former champion, Olympic champion, from Brazil, world champion in volleyball. So, he always thought that a sport helps you develop the social community and create a sense of losing in life, and learning to deal with losses. And when you’re a kid, the world teaches you, you get the victory.

Vitor  Belfort:

When you’re a kid, you always… And that’s not how life it is. Life, we’re going to lose more than win. And I think I fell in love with martial arts because it’s something that depending only on me, when I’m there. But when you progress, you need a team. And you understand that you need a team. But when I was there, I don’t depending on somebody else to do the job done. And I fall in love with just the thing you can conquer with your hand. So, that was pretty intense.

Brian Cain:

And obviously, as you got into the sport and started with judo, and got into the combat sport arena, you ended up training with one of the most famous names in the game, in Carlson Gracie. And he’s a member of one of the most important families in all of probably mixed martial arts and Brazilian jujitsu. How did training with the Gracies influence your outlook in where you were at, at that time in your life?

Vitor  Belfort:

Back then, Brian, people, today, when they see the sport, MMA is a considered sport, but it’s not there yet. And it’s more entertaining than sport, but that’s another subject. Back then, they didn’t exist. It’s, everything was inside of gyms. It was very small. You don’t have money. You’re just a passionate, and you got to love what you do.

Vitor  Belfort:

Carson Gracie was the guy, was the best guy in the Gracie family that did defend the name for so many years. Back then, mixed martial arts was to prove what martial art is more effective. So, if you don’t know the history of martial arts, you’ve got to go back and understand that it was judo versus boxing, boxing versus karate. Everything was to match up who was the most dominant, most effective martial arts.

Vitor  Belfort:

I remember that everyone wants to learn karate and kung fu because of Bruce Lee, and all that. So, the Gracie family come and start challenging every martial arts on a one-on-one combat, to see what martial arts is more effect so we can get the clients. So, basically, it’s like, “I’m going to go beat you up, and so I can get more clients.” That’s how it used to be in the past.

Vitor  Belfort:

And when I saw… I was 13 years old, I was getting introduction to Carson. I used to train with one of his instructor. I had a vision. I was a very young kid, but I had a vision. I remember Mike Tyson was just in his prime, and I said, “I can do that.” And I used to box in the same time. I say, “I want to become a valid judo fighter.”

Vitor  Belfort:

In the neighborhood where I was growing up was a very tough neighborhood, that we used to fight on the street to prove if you want to be part of this kind of gang, where we used to protect our neighborhood. If you want to be one of the protector of the neighborhood, you have to be able to endure the sparring session that they used to have on the buildings.

Vitor  Belfort:

I went there, and I realized that on the street, to take somebody down is danger, because of the concrete. So, they say, “Vitor, you’re going to have to learn box. Box is the most effective martial arts of men and men combat.” And then I start evolving, and then I became very furious in speed and power. And I used to knock adults out in the sparring. And they said, “Man, you’re going to be something.”

Vitor  Belfort:

They start feeding my dream. And I had some older guys say, “You got to go and you’ve got to become a boxer.” And I said, “No, I want to become an MMA fighter.” And I realized that if I go to the MMA war that people used to fight, it’s funny. They used to fight like this, and it was different type of guard. They didn’t have the movement and the understanding. So, it was totally different.

Vitor  Belfort:

That’s when I went to Carson, and Carson met me and said, “Let me see how you fight.” And they used to fight with open palm. So, in the gyms, back in the days, everything was open palm. So, you slap everyone in the face. He put me to do with an adult. The guy was, let’s say he was like on his 20, 21 years old, I was like 14. And I slapped the guy. He was like a shrimp. He was one of his best fighters on the barrier.

Vitor  Belfort:

He looked at me and said, “Man, you’re going to do something else.” And then he said, “Let me train you, because I’ll make you a champion.” And that’s how me and Carson start creating relationships. We had like a father and son relationship, until I fly to Hawaii. And I got very notarized, because I was in-house, in Gracie gym.

Vitor  Belfort:

They had some Pancrase guys from Japan, and he’s challenging one of his students. And I say, “Carson, I know all your students, they don’t fight, but I fight.” And Carson let me do it. And I beat the guy up in the champion, and they put me on the magazines, and I flew, and I met [Hickson 00:07:58]. The family used to have two different lineage. If you are with Carson, you’re against the Gracies. It was like just a fight between them themselves.

Vitor  Belfort:

And then I love all the family for what they did for the sport, and especially Hickson. And I say, “Hickson, I cannot train with you. I wish I could.” But they used to have this rivalry that I thought was so stupid back then. Like, “You don’t train with this. You cannot train with that.” They had a lot of politics.

Vitor  Belfort:

Then I move, I went back to Brazil, and I say, “Carson, if you really want to get notarized by your name for what you’ve done for your family, we’ve got to have to go to America. And I find a guy who can bring us to America. And I promise, in a couple of years, I can give you a championship from the UFC, and make your name notarize.” And he said, “Man, okay.” And he trust in this little kid.

Vitor  Belfort:

I had a vision. Because everyone was thinking about Brazil. Brazil said, “We got to go to America. That’s the land of the dream.” We have 17 years old. My parents had signed agreement for me to be released from the school. Just thinking about that, this is in 1996. That’s when they… They don’t have a sport, but I had a vision, “So, if we go there, we’re going to make it. I promise we’re going to make it.”

Vitor  Belfort:

We went, and he believe in a kid. Carson Gracie was so crazy, that what’s a good part of him. He believed in my vision. And I said, “Okay, we move there.” This guy, who was a Brazilian guy, very well known in the movie today, his name is Federico Offender. So, he opened up us to just the gym, and we’re there, living the dream. But they used to have a lot of rivalries between teams and fighters.

Vitor  Belfort:

Back in the days, I remember that Marco, who was another Brazilian guy, who was coming from another rival, from jujitsu. He was a rival from the Gracies. And he wants to train with Carson. He was managed by Federico Offender. And then I told him, I say, “Carson, go with him, train him. He win the championship and determined, in the next tournament, I come in and win the championship, your name will be known forever.”

Vitor  Belfort:

So, all the students of Carson kicked Carson out of his gym, because he was training another rivalry. That’s how the mentality of the jujitsu mentality. They didn’t understand business. And everything, they see it, it’s like everything was personal, “I don’t like you. I hate you. I like you. I hate you.” They looked like Democrats and Republic, in the sense.

Vitor  Belfort:

I was there, and I was trying to see, I had… I was having an entrepreneur mind, in a business sense, and… What? Common sense. I always have common sense, “This sounds good. I can learn with that guy. Let me learn. Let me put my ego away.” And so, I always had that. And, unfortunately, I saw, from an early age, that these adults, that they have so much ego. They want to become the guy all the time. They want to be the tough guy all the time.

Vitor  Belfort:

Fighting, it’s different in football, because it’s really like, it’s another man versus another man. And sometimes, when you play football, you can say, “My defense, you have better defense. I’m a quarterback. You have…” You can always give an excuse. In fighting, there is no excuse. You get your ass kicked and say, “Go home.” But even though people give excuses. But that time I really… And then was a big mass, and a lot of things happened.

Vitor  Belfort:

But with 18 years old, I make my debut in Hawaii, and they grant me the invitation for the UFC tournament. And one year later, I turned 18, I was already… When you’re 18, you cannot fight. So, 19, you can fight. I went to the tournament and I become the youngest champion ever in UFC. And I look in Carson’s eyes, say, “Man, thank you for trust me. And moving to America with a 16 year old kid. Thank you for trusting me. And here it is, I made your name famous worldwide now.”

Vitor  Belfort:

And that was the beginning of my history. But a lot of people don’t know how, putting the way I described to you right now, they don’t know what I have to go through it to be here. I didn’t speak the language. I only know catch ship, thank you, welcome, and cheeseburger. That’s the words.

Vitor  Belfort:

I have to self-taught, and from helping from people, to learn how to speak the language, even writing. Writing, I’m still learning how to write and to put words together. I really was the guy who paved the way, alongside with many other guys here in America, worldwide. And today we have an amazing, we in ESPN, via our sports. And globally, we in Japan, Asia. We are recognized by one of the best contact sport in the world.

Brian Cain:

And you’ve been here for the entire journey, from back in the UFC 12, where there wasn’t even weight divisions. I mean, you’re fighting guys like in this… Now, there’s divisions. Back then, it was just… I remember, it’s amazing that we’re having this conversation, because I was born in 1978, you were born in 1977. So, we’re about the same age.

Brian Cain:

And I remember being in high school, and I graduated high school in 1997. Now, in 1997, you’re 19 years old. You’re in Hawaii, fighting in super brawl, against a guy named John Hess. And John Hess is seven inches taller than you. And he has a 100 pound weight advantage, Vitor. You’re 19 years old. You’re stepping in the ring with this behemoth, who’s that much bigger than you.

Vitor  Belfort:

I was 18, back then.

Brian Cain:

So, you’re 18 years old. You were a senior in high school, stepping in the ring with a guy who’s 100 pounds bigger than you, and seven inches bigger than you. What was going through your mindset at that time? Was it-

Vitor  Belfort:

I was so scared-

Brian Cain:

And was it fear? Any self doubt? Y’all, you can talk about that.

Vitor  Belfort:

I was so scared. My mental coach was definitely Carson. And I think the mentor coach with him was, I was very secure with him. Because the way he… He never went to school. He never was prepare like you. So, let’s put it that way. That Carson was the guy, when they brought him, I’m like, “Carson, I’m nervous.” “It’s okay to be nervous.”

Vitor  Belfort:

And he used to go back to… He used his metaphor, “Hey, man, you know what? What really helped me when I was in the locker room, I’ve got a kid cross, this word is making words.” He always creating something that he can put his mind away. And he say, “The way, I just chill. Just trying to think that that’s your job.” “But it’s hard to. Your job? This is not a job. This is really, you got to go into battle with a man.”

Vitor  Belfort:

But he say, “Just try to relax, and try to create something that makes your mind goes somewhere else. And then by the time, you just focus on that time. So, and just trying to relax. You’re thinking in the gym, you’re doing your thing, and try and enjoy.” Basically, he’s, “Try to enjoy.” And then when you start bringing more, “Carson, but I still…” And he say, “Hey, man, stop. Stop with this. Come on, let’s go. Just warm up.”

Vitor  Belfort:

He passed a lot of confident, “You’re ready. You, man, don’t doubt yourself.” He was very onto that kind of old school mind coach stuff. And he was very secure of preparation. So, for him, he saw you in training, he knew if you were preparing when possible so much, he’d say, “Vitor, you’re ready. If you prepare, no one will beat you. I promise you.” So, he passed that confidence. He transferred that confidence.

Vitor  Belfort:

Internally, I was fighting my… I call, we’re still fighting our demons. It doesn’t matter how. And now you know that it doesn’t matter how much experience you have, you’re always going to have to face this ghost that goes in your mind, “What if, what if.” Or, “If this is happening, this is happening.” So, we create so much variables. And now we realize that understanding this mind thing. That being in the moment, taking a breath, one breath for a time.

Vitor  Belfort:

So, it’s a lot of techniques we can use and we can prepare that everything’s in… It’s a totally different world we’re living, but back then, I was like, “No rules.” Basically, people don’t know that, but Joe Hess and I, we didn’t have any contract signing. Everything was through the words. He asked the judge… Shaq was there. The whole Lakers team was there. He said, “Hey, if this will be no rules…”

Vitor  Belfort:

The only thing he agreed for not using against me was poking in the eye. He blind one guy in the UFC, if you want to talk about. But he poked one guy in the eye, and you’ll see the guy lost the vision in one of the eyes. So, the only thing he agreed John has to do is say, “The only thing I’m not going to do is poking the eye, but I’ll be able to fish hook, punch him in the nuts.” He wants no rule. That was his style of fighting. He call himself a street fighter.

Vitor  Belfort:

If people don’t know what fish hook, is like when you put your fingers in the nose and you can scratch the nose, you can pull the ear. That’s like a survival type of thing. Then I remember I was there, and the only thing I care about, having a boy, I said, “Carson,” I put my hands in my private part, I said, “man, he was going to punch in my nuts? What’s up with this guy? This is a sport.”

Vitor  Belfort:

And I had my gloves. I was so into the sport, and the guy was so savage. He wants to destroy me. He wants to kill me. And I remember Carson looking to Jeffrey, and say, “Listen, Jeffrey, do me a favor, tell the guy that you have a knife. He can bring a gun. Tell him he can do whatever he want. Tell him we’re going to kick his ass, doesn’t matter what.” And he shut the door and say, “Go warm up, Vitor, we’re going to kick the guy’s ass. I promise, in less than a minute, we’re going to be out of this.”

Vitor  Belfort:

That was the confidence that I needed to hear. But I’m still, I was thinking, “If he was to punch my balls, what I’m going to do. If he’s trying to fish hook my nose and how…” Things go through your mind. You’re just a kid. You’re 18 years old. You’re fighting an adult, you know? I go there, and i shock the world, and I saw my journey right there in Hawaii. I think it was 1996? Or the end of 1996. Writing, I don’t, because when… I don’t even remember the year. I think 1995, or 1996. The beginning of 1996. In the end, I fought in the UFC. I think, the same year, that’s when I become 19. Then I fought in the UFC in the same year.

Brian Cain:

I got the date here, October 11, 1996, at SuperBrawl 2, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Vitor  Belfort:

Oh my God.

Brian Cain:

And then we come, four months later, February, 1997, you make your UFC debut, at the UFC 12 tournament.

Vitor  Belfort:

Wow.

Brian Cain:

Now, in the UFC, you fight, now, one time on a card. You know who you’re going to fight. You can game plan. You have your training camp for that fight. You know how long it’s going to be. Either, there’s rounds, the whole thing. But back then, at UFC 12 and a heavyweight tournament, you’re going to have to fight multiple times.

Brian Cain:

There’s no time limit. There’s no rounds. It’s just a fight. And it goes until someone quits, or there’s a doctor stoppage, or whatever. So, talk about the mindset of you as now you’re 19 years old, you’re a senior in high school getting ready to go fight in a UFC tournament, in a heavyweight division. How much did you weigh at this time?

Vitor  Belfort:

I was 204, and that was the max weight that could have put. I could not put more weight.

Brian Cain:

So, you’re weighing 204, but you’re fighting guys who are much bigger, much heavier, and much older?

Vitor  Belfort:

360, 275. It was insane. I fought a guy with no chest, like a specimen. Jacked up, muscle everywhere. He has muscle even his years, so it was… But I always use my speed and my agility. And I really believe that if you put preparation, it’s all about preparation. And I really believe… And speed and agility.

Vitor  Belfort:

I remember Carson said, “Victor, listen to me, God gave you a gift to develop that gift. To develop that gift.” And we’re like, there is no tomorrow. Thinking, “There’s no tomorrow. Just develop the gift. Your job is just to be ready for develop your gift.” The fight, so we didn’t have dates. I was ready every week.

Vitor  Belfort:

People pop up in my gym to challenge me like every week. I have to fight guys every week, giants, guys from wrestling. And I remember Cars used to make me, “Victor…” And I’m going to send you a link of my sparring. People with little gloves, they could punch me, I could not punch them back. That was the rule. Cars said, “Victor, I only can…”

Vitor  Belfort:

The only reason I went in to spar, I have to go to a professional boxing gym, where he used to sparring with all the professional boxers, like the guy who was fighting… I remember I saw… I forgot his name, but all the professional boxing from LA, they used to go to this edgy gym called LA Boxing Club. This is… Where? In the downtown LA.

Vitor  Belfort:

I used to go there sparring with all this guy who used to spar with Mike Tyson, sparring partners, and all these heavyweights. That’s when I can throw my punch. But with the MMA fighters that used to spar with me, I could not throw a punch in them because they would never come to spar with me back in the days.

Vitor  Belfort:

I used to spar, they could throw punching on me, full blow, and I could not. I have to only play defense and just wrestle them. And that was the whole preparation for me to fight in UFC. I learned, I developed a lot of skills, a lot of defense, but I used to play offense in separate. It was not in the same time.

Vitor  Belfort:

And that’s wrong, the way to train, because you have to train, I believe, in offense. You’ve got to play offense all the time. When I see offense, for me, defense can never be in a different mode. You cannot face life trying to protect yourself, because life hits you from different places. So, the way to face life, you just got to play in offense.

Vitor  Belfort:

I love the way you train your mental game is pretty easy. We prepare today, we know what we’re going to do next day. Raining, sunny, you prepare today, next day, it doesn’t matter. You already know what to do this time, this time, this time. So, you’re playing offense, or defense.

Vitor  Belfort:

I used to break down, so I could not play offense when I was training. So, that was not a benefit in my end, but that’s the only way I can get to do things. And when I have someone to come in pop in the gym, I used to fight these guys. Carson didn’t let me throw punch in them, just to prove that jujitsu was so effective. That you can still beat the other guy without even throwing a punch. But I think, today, this will not going to work, but I was insane back then.

Brian Cain:

Well, and the sports evolve so much, right? The sport has evolved now, where people are training, and they’re doing so much more in it. Because it’s so much more accepted than it was back then. Back then, it was like bar, underground. It was almost like live in fight club, man. Nobody knew where these things were going on. I remember we used to have to get the black box, and get the paper view. And you’re sitting there, and you’re watching, and no one knew it was going on.

Brian Cain:

You never thought it would be on ESPN, and be the only sport that you’re watching. Right now, they have it on ESPN everyday. It’s amazing how far mixed martial arts has come. And you’re a big reason and a big person in the play of moving mixed martial arts to where it is today. So, I want to thank you for that. But take us back to UFC 12. You got to fight multiple times in a night to win that tournament. How different is that than, say, when you were fighting one fight in a night? You know you’re fighting Randy Couture, you know it’s for a title. How much different is the preparation for something like that, versus for a tournament?

Vitor  Belfort:

Brian, it’s like a war. You’re like going to a war. You know you’re going to a zone called Iraq. But you don’t know when you’re going to fight. Maybe they’ll say, “You, wake up, fight now.” You’re in a war zone, maybe you wake up, you don’t have… You cannot sleep. You don’t know when your opponent comes to attack you. You don’t know when you’re going to have to start engaging in a fight.

Vitor  Belfort:

It was very unique, that sense, back in the days. It was very… It’s hard to go back and say, “Man, we used to…” I wish we can bring a movie and… Another day I was watching a Netflix, and my wife said, “Man, you got to put your life here. You got to put your… Your life has to go on Netflix. People are going to go crazy, how you used to be in the gym.”

Vitor  Belfort:

You’re at your home, having lunch, and Carson called you and said, “Victor, come here in the gym. We have a guy, he wants to fight me.” I have to put my lunch outside, and say, “Go put your lunch out, and let’s go fight.” That’s how I used to be. The thing was nuts. And I was just 17, 18, fighting adults. And you have to prove yourself, and always someone challenged.

Vitor  Belfort:

I remember even one of the Carson Gracies students, the elders said, “Hey, how you give the black belt to Victor? He was just 17.” I say, “I challenge.” And Carson said, “Oh, that guy, black belt wants to fight you, because he thinks you didn’t deserve the black belt.” So, I had to fight one of my own colleagues to prove that I deserved the black belt.

Vitor  Belfort:

It was, you really have to fight your way in. It’s like, there is no guarantee tomorrow. But I never thought about it. I was looking to the… The way I look it, I was looking to the gratitude and to fulfill my dream. So, going back today, it’s good and bad. Because everything is so… The world is standing.

Vitor  Belfort:

And that’s why the coronavirus, the pandemic is making people crazy, because they’re never dealing with uncertainty. Everybody knew, “And my day is so perfect.” And now they’re off, off, off, “Oh, man, I cannot do the same things.” So, now, they have lunch in different times. They eat whatever they want to eat. And they don’t know when it’s going to come sport, or whatnot. Some guys are training more than they have to, some guys are not training at all.

Vitor  Belfort:

The way I like myself is, now, I evolve my work ethic, and my understanding of my body. Back in the days, it was grind, grind, grind, grind, grind. And even though it was grind, grind, grind, I learned from Carson, and feel that, “Come to rest, listen to your body. Eat this, don’t eat that.” So, I had a lot of mentorship from Carson, was very important for me, that that really helped me a lot.

Vitor  Belfort:

I see as an advantage today, but also as a disadvantage, because everything is so perfect. You see these fighters out of shape, so fat, and all of a sudden, in four, eight weeks, then everybody is good, and lean. And all of a sudden, they looked perfectly. So, it’s not real, you know? It’s like, “Make weight.” I remember today, “Oh, the fight is 205.” He’s not 205, he’s 235 at the time. So, that’s not the real way. So, it’s real, but not real.

Vitor  Belfort:

We live in an unreal world that people are trying to make real. I think, fight, we used to be much more pure, much more legit back then, than today. You know, “Oh, I’m a 185.” And you’re not a 185, you’re a 250 pounds fight, when we fight. I think we still, in a very important saying, that we need to transform our sport to be legit. And when I say to be legit, the rules have to change.

Vitor  Belfort:

I still think MMA rules are not benefit for the fighters. They’re damaged. They’re not just the brain, but the ligaments. A lot of things have to change, Brian, along sense that what MMA needs now. Like I said, who’s the guys that are right there on the front of the battle in helping NMA becomes an Olympic sport, that can understand what they’re talking, and helping these lawyers?

Vitor  Belfort:

Because I don’t see any sport evolve without the people that really paved their way. In baseball, in basketball, in any other sport, these legends, they really changed the sport. And I think we are stuck, right now, where fighters want to get more pay. And if they talk trash, they can get bigger money. And so, we’re not evolving in one area. We in ESPN, of course, we are worldwide recognition. But if you look the sponsors in MMA, there, then they didn’t evolve. And how long ESPN is still going to back up this thing?

Vitor  Belfort:

We need to be… MMA has to become legit. It’s not about our organization. We are very thankful for what Dana and Lorenzo, and Dana still doing, is amazing job, with organization. But Lorenzo and Fertitta, and Frank Fertitta put a lot of money behind UFC becoming so recognized. What we can do, as together, to change the sport. To become a really, really legit, like NBA, NFL fighters have union, and things like that. So, we are very far away from that.

Vitor  Belfort:

But going back to that time, I wish we can still bring some of the honesty of the sport. Like you in high school, you really related to the sport because it was very unique. And today, people say, “Victor, it’s not the same. It’s not the same from your area. It’s not the same.” And so, how can we combine? And that’s called entrepreneurship is where you bring the past, you bring the present, and you create a better future. And that’s the thing, is called a triangle.

Vitor  Belfort:

You get the past, okay? The past is over here, in the bottom, and you go, and go with the present. And then you realize you have a future. So, you create a triangle. It’s the base where you’re going. And so, where you’re generating that curve, we call the S curve. We’re always going to create the S curve to go up. We really need… MMA really need for changing roles, creating a lot of change.

Vitor  Belfort:

Educating the fighters. Like, the mental aspect is very important. Some fighters still, “Ah, this is BS.” No, it’s not BS, this is real. And we see times like with this pandemic, they’re creating uncertainty, people get more depressed. They get more sad, they get more… They don’t know about tomorrow. So, it’s a great, just analogy to see where we are going right now.

Brian Cain:

Well, you’ve mentioned mental performance. And I think, even in the short bit of time I’ve had in the combat sports world, and working with some very good fighters like yourself, and Georges St. Pierre, Rich Franklin, is these guys who are all hall of fame fighters, they’ve all been very into mental performance.

Brian Cain:

And I’d like to hear, from your perspective, what are some of the mental performance techniques that you feel like have helped you during your career, particularly when it comes to training for like the big fights that you’ve had… Which every fight you have now is a big fight.

Brian Cain:

So, whether it was a title fight, or a fight with another hall of famer, what are some of the mental performance techniques that you use now? And maybe some that you did earlier in your career, but didn’t even know that they were mental performance techniques. They were just things that you found out throughout your journey.

Vitor  Belfort:

It’s so many, and I think it’s the ones that you can make real. Some people can do meditating for… I remember we got mediate for one hour, I cannot meditate for an hour. Oh, you have to visualize. How you visualize, for me, it was so hard. I have a speedy mind. My mind was so fast. I was thinking, thinking, thinking.

Vitor  Belfort:

And you realize that meditation is just quiet. You’re learning to quiet your mind, and just living with the now. The now moment is everything. So, if I can break it down, something that is very simple. And we see all these guys, people get nervous. They throw up in the dressing room. But when they go back to perform, and after the first round, you’re just doing what you do every day. Basically, nothing change.

Vitor  Belfort:

You’re not there doing something that you don’t know. So, just, being understanding that, first, accept the fact that you can fail in the front of millions of people worldwide. It’s okay to fail. It’s not bad. That’s part of your job, but you cannot do that in private time. You cannot start thinking only negative.

Vitor  Belfort:

And I think it’s, from what I had been seeing today, especially in this world that we’re living today, that if you turn the news, everything is negative. And why everything is negative, because they study. They hire guys like yourself, the CNN, and Fox, and you name it, they understand that propaganda, it’s big. The more I speak that thing, even if it’s a lie, that things becomes real in your mind.

Vitor  Belfort:

That’s called the trash talking. That’s why fighters are trash talking, because they speak too much until your other guy believe that he’s right. So, the idea is to control your world. If I can picture myself, whatever I do now, I’m trying just to control my world and not worry about what’s going on around me. Because I don’t have control… Nothing that goes over here I have control.

Vitor  Belfort:

But even my body, I don’t have control. If my body want to become sick, I going to have to accept that, and deal with that. But my mind, I have control. Even if I’m sick, I have to make sure to say, “I’m going to be good. It’s okay. I just, I have to rest. I’m going to be stronger than ever.” So, you have control over your mind.

Vitor  Belfort:

Another day, I was just pitching how it is for these guys… You’re talking about guys in the past, go back to Saul. Saul became Paul. Paul spent half of his life in jail, and persecution. Throwing the oil, bubbling. And that guy, living on his faith, and developed faith, and encourage other. He learned how to be grateful in trials. And you have Socrates facing life sentence, “Hey, escape Socrates. Go ahead, let’s find you a place. “No, if I cannot live here in Greece, I should die. I should not be living.”

Vitor  Belfort:

We had this man’s, that really understanding that they are the really mental coaches from life. And you understand that you have to just be in the moment, and taking ownership, what your obligation on the now. With you, Brian, I remember we went this a lot, “Just take a breath, and just one day at a time, one player at a time, whatever.” We try to think so much, and that’s become the mistakes. That’s when we fail, that’s when we lose for ourselves.

Brian Cain:

One of the concepts, I don’t think it was before the Chris Weidman fight, we were together in Vegas, and in your hotel room. And I asked you the million dollar question. I said, “Vitor, what do you know now, you wish you knew, if you could go back and talk to the 17, 18, 19 year old Vitor? What would you say?”

Brian Cain:

And you talked about the difference between being a man and being a boy. And the difference between principle and preference. Could you talk a little bit about that, and elaborate on the difference between living out of a set of principle, or living out of preference, and how that is beneficial for people?

Vitor  Belfort:

Yeah. I think we grow up. We want to live as old as possible, but we want to die as young as possible. But we don’t want to lose the part called the maturity. We want to be mature. We want to be more understanding about that decisions you’re going to have to make every day. And a boy make decision out of preference. You know, “I prefer eating this now, because that’s what I want. Then I prefer to avoid this, to get a reward and maybe in a month from now. Because they’re going to have to make the weight.” Dah, dah, dah.

Vitor  Belfort:

Then you’re in high school, going back to high school. I have the fear, and up there, took the feet to the side, say, “Son, you’re going to have to face girls. You’re going to have to say no, or you’re going to have to face…” Or that, “I’m going to say, no, you’re not going to do it, because you’re going to want to go. You want to want to relate it to these girls. And how are you going to say no? How are you going to be different?” And I said, “Let me teach you how you should…”

Vitor  Belfort:

I was teaching him in learning, it’s called the sexual teaching for your kid. You have to teach your kids how they approach this life called sex. Because sex is the most desirable thing men and women have in their whole life. But if we don’t learn… Most of us, we never learn from your parents. And that’s the problem. That’s why pornography in Hollywood takes so much out of your family, because you never taught them to themselves.

Vitor  Belfort:

I really went and said, “I’m going to teach you a class of sex desire, that the body starts shaking in desire, and you start thinking. And you start want to do that. And I really want to start.” I just start digging in and he said, “Dad, that was very helpful.”

Vitor  Belfort:

And I said, “You know what? When this time comes and you may do or not do it, but listen, son, you’re going to have to say no. You’re going to have to say no because you want something good. You want to have what your father and your mother have, but not just that you want to really make it to the league. You want to make to the… You’re going to have to say no.”

Vitor  Belfort:

And just as I was talking, that’s what it’s not being a man. Being a man is learning that you’re going to have to say no to the most pretty lady in the whole world. Not that you don’t like it, not that you don’t love it, but not in that moment. Not in that that environment. Not in the way that he’s proposing, because that’s not going to bring benefit for you and for her. So, it’s good, but not on that settings.

Vitor  Belfort:

And that’s what is becoming a man. Becoming a man is to learn to navigating in, I want to say sex, because that’s going to be… Even when you’re married, you’re going to have to learn how to do it, and what’s your choices. And if you devote yourself, or when you want a woman, and you want her to do the same, so you’re going to have to be accountable for that. That I’ll be saying to all my friends that say, “Victor, please teach me something that really can save my marriage.”

Vitor  Belfort:

I said, “I’m going to teach you something that we’re going to change your life forever. So, every time you look into a woman that is older than you, you’re going to look at that woman as a love of a mother. Is they’re younger than you, you’re going to look for her as the love of a daughter. And if they’re the same age, she’s kind of the same age, you’re going to look at her as the love of a sister. You’re never want to get laid with your mother, your sister, your daughter.” So, that’s it.

Vitor  Belfort:

And then they say, “That’s fantastic, but it’s training.” And so, everything is training. And before you commit yourself for something, you’ve got to know the consequence. Because I always say to my friends, they’re in relationship, in marriage, they go and they confess, “I’m going to be faithful only to this woman until I die, and in the good, and the bad. In healthy, and unhealthy.”

Vitor  Belfort:

They make that devotion, but they don’t live that principle, because they’re boys. They’re making the decision as boys. That’s why the rates of divorce is huge. That’s why we have so many people without morals, without ethics. They proclaim they have, they speak very good. They look so nice. They lie pretty good. But you know, Brian, I learned that it has a different between the true and the truth. I ever told that story?

Brian Cain:

Mm-mmm (negative).

Vitor  Belfort:

Something can be true, but not the truth. Something can be true, but not the truth. And the way I explain the story is very simple. This man promised his wife and his kids that he will be home. It was on a Friday, that we have dinner at 8:30 PM with their family. So, they prepared the best dinner the husband likes.

Vitor  Belfort:

But they had after party, just going to go play pool with the guys, and no girls. They’re just going to do something just them, and his phone die. And he went there with the boys, and say, “Just stay a little bit, and then you go at the time you go.” The time comes, he was so having fun with his friends. He said, “Man, I really want to stay here, but I’m going to have to find an excuse.” And they planned.

Vitor  Belfort:

He went outside, flat his own tire. Went inside, played pool. Leave the place like 11:30. He has to change, his friends help him to change the tire. He goes home. He arrived at 12:00, at midnight. His wife was almost calling the police, calling his phone. He was very concerned about him. They thought something happened with him. He went, he arrived at home.

Vitor  Belfort:

The wife said, “Honey, what’s happened with you? I was all over, almost calling the cops to go after you.” He say, “Honey, I’m sorry, I had a flat tire.” And in that time the wife hug him, and fed him, and say, “Oh, man, the kids really want to see you, but they’re going to understand you had a flat tire.” And my question to you, he said the truth?

Brian Cain:

Yeah.

Vitor  Belfort:

Yes, he had a flat tire, but he didn’t tell her the truth. So, that story is a symbolic of us. We can be just like the man. And that’s why, today, I call it the fake news. Everyone, everything can become fake news. And you produce that, you can even believe in your own lies. People are believing their own lies that’s not true. They create that news. They make the robots produce that true, so then news becomes true for everyone.

Vitor  Belfort:

And you see people posting, “Man, you see, this is…” And they even know this is true. And because that’s the way we have been living as society, we have been living like boys. We have mens, like billionaires, living like little boys. They make decision just because of money, and how much they’re going to get. So, they don’t make the decision out of honesty, of the true. The more I read my Bible, the more I see that I’m very far away to be a righteous man.

Vitor  Belfort:

I called the RPPC. So, JPPRR. You just have joy on the journey, peace on the process, and be righteousness on relationship. Being righteousness on relationship is the hardest one. You can learn to have joy in the journey. You can learn how to have peace on the process to deal with… But the hardest one of these three is to be righteousness in relationship. That’s the hardest one.

Brian Cain:

Yeah, it’s amazing you’re talking about the joy, the process. And a lot of these things you’re talking about, I think, give us, as men, give us, as people, things to go to when times get hard. And right now, we’re facing the coronavirus, and the pandemic, and the world’s has pressed pause.

Brian Cain:

What mental performance training, Vitor, do you have, that has helped you to bounce back from setbacks? Whether those setbacks were in your personal life, in your athletic career. Because a lot of people are dealing with a setback right now, of just not knowing what’s going to happen with the future, and the base stuff for the situation.

Brian Cain:

So, what would you suggest, from a mental performance standpoint, that has helped you bounce back either personally or professionally in your career, that you would share with the listeners?

Vitor  Belfort:

I think just get a piece of paper and write the things that really bother you. I don’t need a piece of paper anymore, because everything’s in my head. It’s like, I know that this ghost that visit me everyday, they’re coming every day, man. I don’t care how much you train yourself, how much success you have, they’re going to chain, they come and knock on your door, “Hey, I’m here again.” They don’t give up, and you cannot kill them, because they’re in your head, they are virtual. I think it’s, just to be able to accept that.

Vitor  Belfort:

Accept that it’s okay to have a bad day. It’s not okay to live in a bad day every day. It’s okay to have a bad moment, but you don’t want to leave there all the time. So, it’s okay. You have to come to resurrect. Jesus died on the first day, but he’s resurrecting the third day. So, three days was hard, but he resurrect. The idea is, it’s always, you have to be… Something is going to die, but you’ve got to bring to life. That’s the sickness of the days. The sun comes up, the sun goes down, even when the sun doesn’t come up. That’s what you have to understand, you have to accept that thing.

Vitor  Belfort:

The second thing that I use, that is very easy to understand is just to accept that negative thing that talked in your head. We call the chatterbox. He’s always like, “Man, that business is not going to go through. That meeting is… That idea is not going to go through.” He’s always talking back to you. So, you have to be trying to be positive. And how you become positive, that is called creating the affirmation. But it’s not just affirmation. It’s a sense of understanding that if that thing doesn’t go okay, you’ll be happy. Can you be happy if you lose everything? Can you be happy? So, thinking the worst thing happened, can you be happy?

Vitor  Belfort:

I always try to use that mental training that’s very easy. If I die tomorrow, what I have to… If I know that tomorrow I’m not going to live, what the things I’m going to change, and what I’m going to do to be happy until tomorrow? Take ownership of your life. Really press forward. And it’s not a secret thing. It’s just like, if nothing changed, how are you going to be feeling? If you’re going to have to live in a lockdown forever, are you okay? Can you find happiness? How can you find happiness? I believe that… Another day I was writing a thing, and I said, “Jesus lives even in hell.” Because when we talk about hell we think that that was a creation of the devil. No, the only thing that devil create is lies.

Vitor  Belfort:

When I think in hell, I can see the presence of God in hell, but we don’t want that kind of presence of God in hell. We want the presence of God in heaven. I always using the analogy with my kids. When I’m angry, my kids doesn’t like to see me angry, but they still love me. But they love me more when I’m not angry with them because they did something wrong. So, the idea is, can you live like the hell can break around you, but, internally, you’re always in heaven. You got to have that piece, and that’s what’s going to bring you clarity too. If nothing changed, still, you’ll have it.

Brian Cain:

Vitor, that’s one of the things I think I value so much about our relationship, is just the perspective that you bring. And as somebody who’s one of the most well-known fighters in the world, a sports celebrity athlete, not just in the US, or in Brazil, but globally, how do you stay so present and focused, even with all of that pressure, and those demands that come with being who you are?

Vitor  Belfort:

I have a wife at home that speak the truth with me every day, man. And when I’m being a hypocrite, he say, “Victor, I’m sorry, but you’re not living what you preach right now, man. What’s up with you?” You have to have that spouse at home, and say, “Listen, man…” Brian, every time I call you, my son said, “Dad, every time I talk to Brian, he’s like, ‘Man, my God, I wish I can talk to…'” Just like a citizen. But guess what? He has his days too.

Vitor  Belfort:

What is really may… He’s not going to cry to you, because you have to really, sometimes… I don’t believe in faking till you make it. You got to really understand that in life, you’ve got to have hats. In life, you really, even when you’re sad, you’re happy. Even when things are looking so bad, they ask me out there, “How are you feeling? “I’m feeling amazing. I’m good.” Looking for something to be grateful. And then you got to say, “Man, I’m good.”

Vitor  Belfort:

You know what? Because in that perspective, I’m not good, but when I see myself in that perspective, I’m good. So, we tend to always be negative, because people are comparing themselves to somebody else. Or how much success, or how much he’s in… “He made to the NFL, or he’s in the UFC. He’s undefeated.” If I compare myself with GSP, I’m going to be depressed. Because his resume, you’re pretending, but that’s not the point. Well, what I have that GSP doesn’t have, what I represent, so we’re all unique, in a sense.

Vitor  Belfort:

Every time I look to somebody else, I don’t try to compare myself to that person. I just try to value what the person represents to me. But you cannot. That’s very sad, that people leave you in that sense. So, I think it’s just having someone that, really, can speak the truth to you, and you can be real to yourself. And having solitude time there, can really listen. Now I have to see, reevaluate how I am doing as a human being, and so-and-so.

Vitor  Belfort:

It’s a tough moments that we are going, Brian, I confessed to you, but that is not the end. I believe things will get worse, much worse than what we’re facing right now. We just got to be prepared and train as much more people we can. Because if we’re all becoming the same perspective, and we’re not going to be feeding yourself from the news, from this Instagram negativity, and whatever, and we can have more access to your podcast, for your books, for success hotline.

Vitor  Belfort:

The more we surround ourselves with people that, really, can reshape our brains. And I’m very thankful for the books that I read, the coaches that I had in my life, and the people that I really admire, that helped me be curtailed. Not just in my spiritual sense, but in my soul realm. And it’s very important.

Brian Cain:

Well, it’s a matter of training perspective. And I think that’s one of the big messages coming off of your podcast. Is that the mindset that you have is the mindset that you’ve trained. The attitude that you take is an attitude that you train. It’s one that you accept, but it’s one that you can also train.

Brian Cain:

And I think, Vitor, being known as a great fighter, one of the best ever in mixed martial arts, you’re also recognized as a person of faith, and a person of high character. Where does that come from? Is that something that you’ve always had, or is that something that you’ve brought on and has been trained in you? And why is this important for you?

Vitor  Belfort:

It’s, Brian, because I realized when we’re born, we’re born with no spiritual life. We’re born with no identity. We’re born, and listen, and as we’re born, first thing you lose is the comfort of the protection. You’re in this room. And then you come, and you cry, because you lost that protection. And then you start feeding from the chest of your mother. And then you lose that thing, and you start eating things that you’re not used to. And then you get used to.

Vitor  Belfort:

Then you start eating solid. And then you start eating more hard things, and then you start losing. Then you learn to crawl, and then you start walking, falling, walking, falling, until you make it. And then, man, you become a walking zombie in your house. And then they cannot let you, because you don’t know where you’re going. You don’t have direction. You’re lost. And so, we are lost. And then we start finding your ways, called the culture that we live in.

Vitor  Belfort:

And that culture is the things you hear, the musics, the news, the things around your house, the environment. And you start feeding yourself from that. That’s becoming called the shaping your personality. Your future life is that. I only believe that you can really understand, and you take ownership that you understand, “Man, I have a body that I have to feed. If I don’t feed my body, I start getting weak. I got to hydrate myself. Then you understand, “Man, I really got to go to school, and learning and a good education. Learning my mental things and reading good books.”

Vitor  Belfort:

But still, that knowledge doesn’t bring you spiritual life. Actually, it’s the opposite. You start questioning, “Man, it’s real Jesus died?” Many ways, and many ways. I usually can comprehend and accept that I always have a question. God is real. God is… Because I said, “God doesn’t know what I go through it. God does…” And then when I start understanding that Jesus become a man so he can really go through the things like the desire of the flesh, the desire of just… Man, I think I’m not going to go in that cross. You know what? My will not be done, your way with the father.

Vitor  Belfort:

He really went through everything they went through. And now I understand it’s so easy for me to accept truly God that really become flesh, and have pain, and cry. And deal with the prostitute, deal with the gentiles, the religious. And he really, among us, he deal with all type of society on that time. And then that’s really what guide me, and understand that, “Man, God is for real.” Because he really became me one day. He was me one day, and he died. And he beat death.

Vitor  Belfort:

Actually, he spent three days and three nights in hell. Guess what? He designed hell. The devil, the only thing that the devil created is a lie. And now we live in such a lie world, because we start lying for ourself. We lie to our spouse, we lie to our kids. We tell our kids that Santa Claus is for real. And then after he’s old, “I was just kidding.” So, we are so bad as a society. And when I start questioning myself, why people do that with their kids? It’s punishment? I decided I going to speak the true for my kids. And if I cannot speak the true, I say, “Listen, son, you cannot know that, it’s not time yet.”

Vitor  Belfort:

And of course, you tell Victor, “No, I lie.” “Yes, I did lie.” Sometimes, I try to find myself, especially if something happened in the house, “Hey, no, it wasn’t me. Wasn’t me.” We’re always going to try and to go back to Adam, I call the two Adam. The first Adam, the second Adam. The first Adam was the man that really guilty his wife, and hide himself, and trying to just pointing the fingers. And the second Adam, “Go accept everything. Let me die so this man can live. Let me die so this killer, these murders, this adultery, this lying society, they can live one day.”

Vitor  Belfort:

When you really understand that besides your mental conditioning, your body conditioning, you have a spiritual conditioning that you really have to develop. And I call the tree way of living, mind, body, and soul. I call mind, body, and spirit. Soul is your mind. Your soul is your mind, your knowledge. Your spirit is something that’s going to live forever. And so, I’m just trying to get better and stop pointing fingers, That man, going to hell. That man going to…”

Vitor  Belfort:

I went through all that. I understand. That’s the sense of man. I know, now, I don’t know nothing. I don’t know if I’m right, am I wrong? So, how can I get better? How can I have empathy? How can I not judge? How can I live in a society, have empathy, and be more like a human being, and less as a robber? You know, “Oh, let’s go. Let’s beat up that guy.” “Oh, no, no.” “Let’s throw a rock on that guy.” “No.” So, that’s the way to live, my friend.

Vitor  Belfort:

I’m telling you, it’s still, I’m calling on that life. And I hope I can get better. That Jesus can look down and say, “Man, you know what? I see progress.” And sometimes look like we are stucky for maybe a year, because we don’t see evolution. And rating myself, that I like to rate myself weekly, I never passed seven. I never passed seven, rating myself. And maybe… I don’t know. My 10 would never happen, I think, in life. But that’s how I think I’m going to… If I give my 10 to myself, I think I’m going to be the worst man in the world tomorrow. So, I never passed seven. I think I only had one week, seven.

Brian Cain:

And when you’re rating yourself, what are you rating yourself on? There’s certain categories where you grade your progress?

Vitor  Belfort:

I rate-

Brian Cain:

Mind, body, spirit.

Vitor  Belfort:

… mind, body, and spirit. So, I could never pass seven. Because, sometimes, I had a great week on the body, but a horrible week in the mind, or whatever. What I call horrible week is not the one that I like. I believe in consistency, consistency, consistency. But when we look to a success of a company on the stock market, we like to see the graphic. How’s the graphic. And long 30 years, that, “Oh, man, that company is good. Past 30 years, they never had ups and downs, their graphic.” How you rate that on the spirit, only you know.

Vitor  Belfort:

And sometimes, you look, the guy looks so sent. They look so holy, but he’s the most evil one. I’m telling you, man, they’re out there. So, sometimes, that person looks so happy, but he’s the most depressed. And we see Rob Williams, we lost one of the greatest actor in comedy. So, you never know. Only you can rate yourself, no one can do that for you. But the way I’d rate myself, in these three categories. I never separate them because I’m not God. Only God can do father, son and the Holy spirit, but not you, not me, nobody else. We have to rate ourselves in these three categories.

Brian Cain:

When you’re rating yourself on mind, what are some of the things that you reflect on, or rate yourself on?

Vitor  Belfort:

If I’m on the mind, I believe in the things that I have been training. For example, if I’ve been doing my daily routine, if I’ve been writing the stuff, preparing my day for the next day. For some interests, how is my talk progress in that day that I deal with failure. Or how I dealt with the uncertainty, how I’m being dealing with uncertainty. And things that are going wrong, how I’m dealing with that.

Vitor  Belfort:

It’s very easy to deal with everything goes right, you know? It’s easy to be happy. But when everything goes wrong, that’s when character shows up. You really need that character. And you really need that friend to be by your side. And I’ve been through a lot. You watch all my fights, you see my interacts in the beginning of my career. Oh, it was so much. I’m sorry, but they all like to take X-ray of my balls. They’re all hanging out there. Where these people are, I don’t know where they are right now. But the idea is to understand.

Vitor  Belfort:

I was watching, yesterday, Michael Vick, in ESPN Plus. And, man, the only thing that changed is the number of the check. That’s the only thing that changed. And what Michael Jordan, to Kobe Bryant, to a guy in the league, and that didn’t make it to the NBA, the only thing that change is the number of the check, or the value they has for Nike or Adidas, but the grinding is the same. So, I really rate myself, in that category, in how I really see myself in the things that I believe. That are really, I’m doing that, I’m really training my mind correctly.

Vitor  Belfort:

When I go back to my body, I really, I’m doing my diet, I’m eating right. I’m training, I’m waking up. I’m doing my mobility, I’m doing my shreds. I’m doing this. I’m good. And then you go back to the routines, so I’m respecting the rest. And then to go back to the spirit, I’m really doing my devotion. I’m really praying. I’m really spending time with God. I’m really develop that relationship. Reading my Bible, and understand that reading my Bible is not just doing and reading.

Vitor  Belfort:

I read through the notes, meditating, asking question, “Why?” Pounding. Maybe you’re going to spend the whole week in just one chapter, because that thing is so interesting. I’m transformed by the renewing of my mind. What that thing means, what God really wants to mean, I’m transformed by the reading. God was really talking about the mental training.

Vitor  Belfort:

That spiritual training has to go through the mind. So, your spirit can only be touched if you use your mental. You see, so, it’s, everything connects. My body cannot be a mess and I have a strong mind. No, no, no, no. If we have a horrible… I’m sorry, I’m not going to say, but if you’re in a bad shape, you cannot be a mental conditioning trainer, because you don’t know. You’re not taking control of yourself, because you are body minus soul.

Vitor  Belfort:

I grew up watching Carson Gracie say, “Do what I say, don’t do what I do.” And that thing, I asked myself, “I know you’re one of the greatest, but that’s not right.” That’s why when you’re speaking to the athlete’s life, and even in my life, I look at you, say, “Man, you’re really there, man. You’re really doing your stuff. You’re really…” And you’re not going to compete it. You’re not going to make it.

Vitor  Belfort:

But that’s your what? That’s your grind, because your mental is depending of your body, and your body depending with the mental. Guess what? Your spiritual is the most important one, they live out of this both. It’s funny how God is good, you know? God gave us something that is so powerful, but this spirit only depends… You got to live out of these two things that depend on you.

Vitor  Belfort:

So, really, what God has given us is the opportunity to be God. And that opportunity, called the freewill. You can eat what you eat. You can drink what you want to drink. You can think what you want to think, but these things are going to affect your spirit. So, that’s the whole journey, you know? That’s how it fluctuates, that your mind, your mental, and your spirit.

Brian Cain:

Awesome. Vitor, I got a couple more questions. I do need to make a quick bathroom stop, if that’s okay? Maybe it’s a-

Vitor  Belfort:

It’s okay. No worries. Go ahead. Go ahead. I’m going to get my water.

Brian Cain:

You’re still there?

Vitor  Belfort:

Yeah.

Brian Cain:

Okay.

Vitor  Belfort:

Oh.

Brian Cain:

All right. I’ll just ask you, what’s the most weight that you’ve cut in a day, for a fight?

Vitor  Belfort:

The most weight, I think, at 20 pounds.

Brian Cain:

20 pounds, just water weight, in a sauna?

Vitor  Belfort:

Yeah. It’s not cutting weight, it’s cutting. Yeah. Sauna and the breath. I cut at least 10 pounds just in breathing. I do a way that I cut a lot of weight just breathing. Called the out massage. You use your diaphragms internally. It’s, basically, you start shredding crazy. Because, cutting water, you just heat up your organs, and your organs start…

Vitor  Belfort:

Because you drink a lot of water, so you cheat your body that you have that much water, but actually you don’t. You’re just putting extra water in your body and when your body start cutting the water, your body think you still have water, but you start cutting water. And that’s why a lot of fighters, wrestlers die, because they don’t have the water. So, I don’t recommend wearing the sauna suit one day before.

Vitor  Belfort:

I have the whole technique. I have the whole thing that I really learn to cut water. So, the more you stay hydrating is better health for your body, because, actually, people would sweat, they gain the weight again. The idea is you have to train your body to sweat. I do sauna, the whole camp. If I’m going to do bath, I do bath every day. Just training my body that what’s coming later, what’s coming later.

Vitor  Belfort:

So, remember, it’s repetition. It’s no different cutting weight, it’s not different than mind training. You cannot expect to go and call Brian Cain, and become a champion next day. You’ve got to be coming and doing that thing for a reputation. That thing becomes ingrained in you. And that’s when things start having results.

Brian Cain:

That’s a process. And part of your process, which gets started back in professional, mixed martial arts in 1996, 1997, when you’re 18, 19 years old. And now, you’ve had an incredible career. And the amazing thing is, it’s still going. You’ve recently signed to ONE Championship. Tell us about the next move in the decision to go over to ONE Championship. What’s here in the future, for Vitor Belfort?

Vitor  Belfort:

I really could not… I see that UFC, really, it’s a… Dana one day said, “Victor, MMA, it’s a young sport. You got to be young.” That’s, basically, is what they’re telling me. It’s like, “Okay, my organization is a young sport.” And it’s notorious that they’re always looking for the young athlete. And I understand the true part of that.

Vitor  Belfort:

First of all, the more you stay in the organization, the more cost effective you become, costs a lot of money for the organization. So, they’re discovering a way of making money, it’s like, “Can I have a lot of young guys fighting for that position?” Because people fighting over pride, and a guy like myself, GSP, John Jones, we don’t have nothing to prove, we become professional.

Vitor  Belfort:

We’re fighting for a legacy, and the legacy is started in you. You have to start in you. But, of course, a legacy is something that’s going to be good for the next generation. So, as I see that they’re changing the way the mechanic and business, then I was very grateful for what they have done for the sport.

Vitor  Belfort:

And I said, “Man, I did so much here, and now the rules are changing a lot. The mechanics of the business are changing a lot. I want to go to a place that really cannot just be unique, has the value, and has a way that I can bring my mental, my conditioning, my entrepreneur mindset.” And I saw Chatri is the leader of their organization. He’s really are changing the scope of mixed martial arts.

Vitor  Belfort:

In the same light, you have MMA fight, you have Muay Thai, you have kickboxing, you have Muay Thai with little gloves. So, he’s really looking for change. And he’s really changing the way, the rules. And then he’s looking for martial art aspect. How can I bring in more entertaining, but at the same time, bring the values of martial arts, and making the fights so much exciting that they don’t span, that it’s not boring?

Vitor  Belfort:

They’re looking for finishing, they’re looking for knockouts. They’re looking for actions. And that’s what Vitor Belfort is. He’s always looking for finishing, and the fights never… I want to last five. I think they’re very into that transition, accepting that change. And I think we’re going to be able to see things. You guys are going to see a lot of great things happening in one end. And that’s my hope there.

Vitor  Belfort:

I can put one of the visions that I have, bring the best of these two sports of combat, called boxing and MMA, together, at one, they can clash. And one thing that can benefit both sides. And then they are very open to this rules, called the BMA, the box martial arts, where I can really challenge the top knock on artists, to go face to face and bringing the best out of… We can bring the best entertainment in sports at the same time.

Brian Cain:

Vitor, you’ve been doing this for a long time, and you still look like you’re in great physical shape. And we’re excited to see you get back inside, and compete. What would you say is some of the secrets to your longevity? What has allowed you to stay healthy for so long, and been doing this at such a high level for so long?

Vitor  Belfort:

I think first one is lifestyle. Lifestyle, I remember my wife was doing Orange Siri, and she was doing the, “Oh, you got to try orange, orange, orange.” And I went, “What is Orange?” And I went to see what it was, what is this workout. And I said, “High intensity training, that’s what I’ve been doing my whole life.” We are the MMA fighters, create this high intensity training, because that’s how we sport. It’s, “Go, go, go, rest. Go, go, go rest. Go, go, go rest.” That’s called high intensity training.

Vitor  Belfort:

And I see this… Even CrossFit becomes so popular. And these guys are going to have the kind of same body shape as a fighter? But high intensity training is being the training of a wrestler, of a MMA fighter, of jujitsu fighters. So, we are the guys who really start this process. And I say, “You know what? I’m going to start not just doing myself, I’m going to be sharing what I know with others. No better thing like yourself. What you do to me is why you do it yourself. You try everything, you try first. Am I right, or am I wrong, Brian?

Brian Cain:

100% correct.

Vitor  Belfort:

So, I can only give what I give to myself. That’s why I don’t believe in do what I said, is do what I do. Lifestyle, it’s a sense, that learning how to do with your body, learning how to do with your mind, and learning how to do with your spirit. I created this fitness program called Belfort Fitness Lifestyle. Where it’s a class of one hour. Half of the class, you’re in a bag, half of the class, you’re in the weight with the air bike.

Vitor  Belfort:

The reason why I don’t like running, I think running it’s a very deteriorating thing in your joints. And you only know when you don’t have it. I don’t have a lot of joints, so I know how it is to don’t have joints. I got bone on bone, on my knees, so I discovered a way of having the same result without putting the same pounding. It’s like this, I remember when coach said, “Victor, is many ways to skin a cat. You just got to find the best efficient way to skin that cat forever.”

Vitor  Belfort:

Remember, that’s the problem. Is like people skinning a cat, they can only skin a cat for two years. I remember, NFL player is only two to four years job. How you can make 20 years, you got to know how to skin the cat. So, basically, putting their grind. Now, I’m challenging and sharing my knowledge with people that they’re looking for, just that they want to be a better… They want to live longer with no pain, no joint pain, free of joint. The biggest pain for any athlete right now is joint.

Vitor  Belfort:

The second of all is the lifestyle. They drink too much. Maybe they go out. I know Damien Shack, we were talking, he starts, “Hey, Victor, how much… We are the same age, how in good shape? You look so young, and how are you not aging yourself?” It’s the same thing we used to do in the sport, and finding the different ways. It’s, you just got to have a lifestyle. I call the choices. The choices that you make when you’re 20s, you’re going to reap in your 40s. The choices that you do in your 40s, you’re going to reap when you’re 60. The 60 choices, when you’re 60 years old, you’re going to reap when you’re 80.

Vitor  Belfort:

I always call for two decades. You reap in the choices that you come… So, when you’re in the 20s, and your 30s, it doesn’t count much. Only start counting when you hit… When you hit your 20s, if you want to live at 40, if you want to still fight in your 40, you’re going to make the choice in 20s. Now, I know if I could go back, I would do a lot of thing different to keep my joints. But even though I’m learning to skin the cats, and accepting the things that I have, and dealing with the things that I cannot change, and focusing on what I can control. And to keep moving on and having fun.

Brian Cain:

Yeah, I think that’s one of the themes that is come out of this podcast, and it leads us right into my last question for you. Which is, obviously, you have a son, Davi, who’s one of the top high school quarterbacks in the country. And you’re around a lot of youth athletes, high school athletes, his age now.

Brian Cain:

What would you say to the young athlete out there? The high school athlete, the college athlete, that’s got these big dreams, but is having trouble believing in themselves right now, or just the way that life is with the COVID-19, and the uncertainty of the future. What advice would you have for them?

Vitor  Belfort:

Number one, forget about, “Oh, I need to get offers.” Forget about that, my friend. Forget about this BS, “Oh, I have this many offers.” “Oh, man, you know what? I have the candy into my arm.” “Oh, I have this. I have that.” I was just, yesterday, with my son, Davi, watching the draft 2001. The man of that draft was who? Michael Vick. In the same draft, a guy called Drew Brees, nobody knew about him. He’s the GOAT. He’s still the GOAT.

Vitor  Belfort:

Michael Vick deal with this issue. This amazing talent guy could not handle. I told my son, “Hey, son, I don’t want you to become the GOAT now. I don’t want you to become the most successful, or the most followers. Forget all this.” Because, back then, I didn’t have all this Instagram gratification. This instantly stopping thinking that you’re going to read tomorrow. My friend, guess what? You want to see success, make sure you put a seed.

Vitor  Belfort:

Get a seed put on the ground, and wait that seed to come. It’s going to take time. You’re going to have to put water, sun, water, sun, and then find a good soil. So, that’s number one. Things take time. Don’t rush. Don’t rush. You got an ACL injury, hey, don’t rush. Don’t try to rush to get back. Hey, you get, “Oh, don’t rush all.” “Oh, no, because if I do…” No, no, no, forget about all the ifs. Get away from that.

Vitor  Belfort:

I’m telling you, if I can sell this to you, this is worth a lot of money, I’m just giving this for free for you. So, forget about getting all these things. Just accept the grind. Because when you come from high school to college, you become a rookie. You’re just what? Beginning. You’re like nobody. You have to go start doing again. And when you come from high school to the NFL, guess who you are? You are nobody. You are nobody.

Vitor  Belfort:

It’s hard to realize, because you just sold arenas, 80,000. So, I’m just going to use analogy, because that’s the better way to use it. The draft, what’s his name? The guy just got drafted number one, the quarterback.

Brian Cain:

Joe Burrow.

Vitor  Belfort:

Joe Burrow. Joe Burrow is going to come. He’s going to understand that it is a totally different. He could go in and blew them out. Great. I hope this happen. But guess what? He’s going to go to a place that people are looking to compete against him. So, there, he’s coming to a totally different scene. How we take things is called stages of life. Right now, I’m in my 40s. I don’t know how the 50s is. I cannot proclaim.

Vitor  Belfort:

No, if I can get advice, someone from 50s, I want to get all the advice I can, because guess what? He’s there. He’s climbed that, I need to hear. The problem is today, people become next step too early. People become, “You cannot be the best coach at 20. Impossible.” You can become good, but at times something that nothing can change, time.

Vitor  Belfort:

I like to accept that fact, that it takes time to develop. So, don’t rush. Take your time. Trust the process. Do little, a lot, not a lot, little. That’s what Brian Cain taught me, and I cannot live without that. It’s doing little, a lot, not a lot, little. And we are master in doing a lot, little.

Vitor  Belfort:

And you, I believe if you’re in college right now, you’re in this pandemic, I believe a lot of high school players are dealing with this weed, because now it’s a medicine. Stay out of that, my friend. Trust me, it’s not going to be any good for you. You don’t need that kind of medical. The only thing you need is called the crying. Call Brian Cain. Call success hotline. Call your coaches. Eat your fruits, get your vegetables. Stay out of the sugar.

Vitor  Belfort:

Just doing little things. You want to get great nutrition, eat everything that comes from earth. Colorful. Make everything… It’s so simple. It doesn’t get, “Oh, a nutrition expert.” You don’t need a nutrition expert. Go see what Daniel used to eat. Go see what… It’s so simple. But guess what? We like complicated things. We like things that, “Man, oh, it’s flashy. It’s this. Oh…” And don’t buy, don’t spend money with all these people around you, and gold, and diamonds. You don’t need that.

Vitor  Belfort:

Guess what? Now, nobody can drive your cars. Nobody can wear your clothes. Everything is priceless. Even gas right now, Brian, gas is nothing. Gas is almost nothing. Why? No, has no value. I think we’re in a change, we never know this uncertainty Davi was just asking, “Dad, oh, we’re going to have football. We cannot live without football. We’re going to have the school. Oh, we’re going to have to…” I don’t know.

Vitor  Belfort:

But guess what? Today, you wake up 6:00 AM, go train. Go train later, go train, go train. Call Brian, go this, do that. Go study. Because, at the end of the day, if this lockdown state, we’re going to find a way to make competition works. Believe me, we are good. We can make this good. But the question stands for all of you and myself is, this pandemic going to pass, the question is, how you going to be when this pass? Are you going to be better, or are you going to be bitter? That’s the question.

Brian Cain:

And that is about as good a close as you can bring to the podcast. Are you going to get better, or are you going to get bitter, or are you going to trust the process, because you have one? And, are you going to do a little, a lot, or are you going to do a lot of little? So, listen to the champ. Special thanks to my friend and my guest, Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort. Be sure to engage and follow Vitor on Instagram, @vitorbelfort. That’s @V-I-T-O-R-B-E-L-F-O-R-T. Vitor, thank you for being with us, my friend.

Vitor  Belfort:

Brian, I hope I can be your neighbor one day so we can all do this grinding. I love your sauna. I love your… I still, I need to call, because I need to order that bath to make the-

Brian Cain:

The cold tank.

Vitor  Belfort:

You know, the-

Brian Cain:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Vitor  Belfort:

I need you. I didn’t want to order the wrong one.

Brian Cain:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ll send you to… I’ll probably know what to send you.

Vitor  Belfort:

Send me the… I don’t want to have to order, and how I have to start, simple, or it’s complicated?

Brian Cain:

Yeah. If it’s complicated, I’m not doing it. So, it’s simple. Yeah, it’s real simple.

Vitor  Belfort:

Oh, I love it. Yeah.

Brian Cain:

Yeah, it’s real simple. Beautiful. Vitor, thank you, man.

Vitor  Belfort:

Thank you for the opportunity, my friend. See you soon.

Brian Cain:

Appreciate it. Great seeing you. All right. Thank you, brother. My name is Brian Cain. Now, I’ve made it my life’s mission to educate, empower, and energize others to live their best lives through mental performance mastery.

Brian Cain:

I regularly meet The fortune 500 companies, professional and Olympic athletes, MMA world champions, and top NCAA and high school coaches, business leaders, and elite performers in all arenas, to discuss mental performance strategies that can elevate their careers, improve their relationships, and ultimately make the world a better place.

Brian Cain:

On the new season of the Brian Cain Podcast, I’m bringing you more stories of how these incredible people have used mental performance strategies to overcome adversity and achieve their life’s goals, and how you can, too.

Brian Cain:

If you’re looking for a podcast that will inspire you to achieve more and give you insights into the methods employed by some of the world’s most successful people, then be sure to subscribe now to the Brian Cain Podcast, on the Ironclad Content Network. It’s the mental fuel you need to dominate the day.  Thank you for listening to the Brian Cain Mental Performance Mastery Podcast on the Ironclad Content Network. If you liked this show, be sure to leave us a rating and a review and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter @BrianCainPeak.

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