Vitor Belfort coach: We don’t know what to expect versus Evander Holyfield

Evander Holyfield Vitor Belfort

Vitor Belfort trainer Derik Santos says they’re flying a little blind going into a fight with the aged Evander Holyfield this weekend.

Santos was initially coaching Belfort for Oscar De La Hoya at 185 pounds. Once De La Hoya pulled out due to Covid, Holyfield took his place.

Now, the UFC legend faces a 58-year-old with a weight advantage rather than a slighter De La Hoya.

“As far as Holyfield goes, his was a name that got thrown around before. He was an option for Vitor before. And he’s a big man. He is a very big man,” Santos admitted to Vegas Insider.

“Over the last couple of years, I actually befriended him. He’s a good guy. I’ve always had great respect and admiration for him.

“We go from one hall of famer to literally and figuratively a bigger hall of famer. So it’s a challenge for sure, and Holyfield has done a great job keeping himself in shape.

“I’ve marveled at the shape he’s in. I’ve been to his residence. He eats healthy. He’s not one of those who will lay around eating McDonald’s. He’s always been a healthy individual.”

Asked what they expect from Holyfield on the night, Santos added:


“I don’t really know what to expect. I’ve seen videos of him training with John David Jackson.

“I know he has been training. I know he has been working out and looking for a fight. It’s going to be interesting. It’s a different type of fight to Oscar.

“He’s much bigger than Vitor. Not only height but body-wise. The main difference is Oscar is more mobile, and we were expecting a different type of movement.

“We had worked on different ways to cut off the ring. With Holyfield, it’s going to be more of a dangerous, straight-up fight.

“He’s a large man. I’m sure he can still punch. So we’ll see how we go about dealing with that.”

Holyfield turns 59 next month and looked slow before he initially retired in 2011. Ten years later, it’s tough to ascertain that Holyfield would improve.

Approaching your sixties, the brain and body become less synced. Meaning blows to the head will be harder to shake off later in life.

Here’s hoping both men come out of it in one piece.

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