One Championship signs 41-year-old MMA veteran Vitor Belfort

SINGAPORE (AP) — One Championship has signed Brazilian mixed martial arts veteran Vitor Belfort.

The promotion announced its deal with the 41-year-old former UFC champion Thursday.

Belfort (26-14) was one of MMA’s first major stars, joining the UFC in 1997 and winning its light heavyweight title in 2004. After a four-year absence while fighting for other promotions, Belfort has spent the past decade back in the UFC, winning eight fights and losing three title shots during that time.

Belfort has repeatedly pondered retirement in recent years. He announced his retirement last May after Lyoto Machida stopped him in the second round.

One Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong says Belfort is an important addition to his promotion as it expands into South America.