Randy Couture: A UFC Doctor Introduced Vitor Belfort to TRT

John HeinisSenior Analyst IApril 11, 2014

Randy Couture arrives at Spike TV's Guys Choice Awards at Sony Pictures Studios on Saturday, June 8, 2013, in Culver City, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Richard Shotwell

UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture doesn't believe the Nevada State Athletic Commission's ban on testosterone replacement therapy was about doing the right thing as much as it was about cleaning up the UFC's image. 

"The Natural" said as much during an appearance on Wednesday's edition of Submission Radio

“In a small way it implicated the UFC when they highlighted Vitor Belfort who had a TRT exemption and he said he never heard of TRT until the UFC doctor turned him onto it and told him what it was all about, was I think one of the reasons why the UFC, they didn’t want to be implicated, they didn’t want to be party to that so they moved for the commissions to ban the exemptions. ... I think they were just trying to cover their butt by pushing the ban on exemptions through."

The Team Quest co-founder competed until the ripe age of 47 and also used testosterone replacement therapy in the latter stages of his career.

Couture, one of only two fighters to capture UFC gold in two separate weight classes (light heavyweight and heavyweight), had a falling out with the UFC last summer after he signed on to be a coach for Bellator's reality series Fight Master. 

Tensions rose to the point where Couture was not allowed to corner his 31-year-old son, Ryan, during his brief UFC stint in 2013, per MMA Junkie

The NSAC's TRT ban had an immediate negative impact on Belfort, who was originally slated to fight UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman at UFC 173 on May 24.

However, after the TRT ban went through, Belfort was either pulled or withdrew from the bout—depending on which story is accurate—and was replaced with another ex-205-pound champ in Lyoto Machida, per MMA Fighting.  

Belfort, the no. 3 middleweight in the UFC's official rankings, sits on the sidelines awaiting the result of Weidman vs. Machida, which has been moved to UFC 175 since the champ sustained a minor knee injury.

Does Couture bring up a valid point regarding the recent TRT ban, or is this just the latest chapter in his ongoing feud with the UFC?


John Heinis is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA editor for eDraft.com.