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Dan Henderson: Weidman Will Beat Belfort, Especially If They Fight in America

Lyoto Machida Dan Henderson during their UFC 157 light heavyweight mixed martial arts match in Anaheim, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013. Machida won by split decision after the third round. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press
John HeinisSenior Analyst IJanuary 17, 2014

Former Pride and Strikeforce champion Dan Henderson doesn't think Vitor Belfort will be the man to unseat UFC middleweight titleholder Chris Weidman from his throne. 

Speaking to Ariel Helwani on this week's addition of The MMA Hour, "Hendo" stated his belief that Weidman has all the tools to slow down "The Phenom's" recent career resurgence. 

Vitor is very capable of beating anybody in those first few minutes of a fight because he is dangerous and he hits hard,” Henderson said. “But, I just—I don't see it happening, especially if the fight is in the U.S....Obviously [Vitor] wouldn’t be able to use TRT here, but I just feel like he’s definitely…his body has changed a little bit in the last couple of years that he hasn’t been fighting here."

Belfort, the No. 2 fighter in the UFC's official rankings, is currently the winner of three straight fights, with all victories coming by way of knockout. 

It wasn't against lower-tier competition either. He took out perennial contender Michael Bisping, ex-Strikeforce champ Luke Rockhold and became the first fighter to KO Henderson in 40 professional fights. 

However, Belfort has come under fire in recent years for using testosterone replacement therapy and not having fought on American soil since August 2011. 

In his first bout with Henderson inside the Pride ring in October 2006 (where Henderson won via unanimous decision), Belfort failed his post-fight drug test for the anabolic steroid 4-hydroxytestosterone, per MMA Weekly

Therefore, there is a widespread belief in the fight community that the hard-hitting Brazilian would not be granted a TRT exemption in the United State, though the theory has never been tested since Belfort has been fighting in Brazil or Canada recently. 

That is expected to change when he fights Weidman for UFC gold, as the bout is heavily rumored to take place in Las Vegas, Nevada this May, per ESPN

Henderson is another admitted TRT user, though he has largely gone under the radar since he's just 1-3 since returning to the Octagon in November 2011.

Sour grapes from Henderson or is he just telling it like it is? 

 

John Heinis is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA editor for eDraft.com.

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