Vitor Belfort Back in Business, Cleared to Fight in Brazil

Dan Hiergesell@DHiergesellFeatured ColumnistMay 8, 2014

FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2013, file photo, Vitor Belfort, from Brazil, celebrates after defeating Michael Bisping, of Britian, during their middleweight mixed martial arts bout in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Belfort dropped out of his upcoming UFC middleweight title shot on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, a few hours after the Nevada Athletic Commission banned testosterone replacement therapy. Belfort was scheduled to fight 185-pound champion Chris Weidman at UFC 173 on May 24. His title shot was given to Lyoto Machida by UFC President Dana White. (AP Photo/Andre Penner, File)
Andre Penner/Associated Press

Much has been said about Vitor Belfort's track record for using testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).

In turn, his public image has been somewhat tainted, solidifying him as the unofficial poster boy for TRT in mixed martial arts.

But Belfort's issues don't stop there.

Since the procedure to counteract low testosterone levels in aging fighters became banned for use in MMA in the state of Nevada, "The Phenom" has had to back out of a middleweight title fight with champion Chris Weidman, leaving fellow Brazilian Lyoto Machida with a shot at gold.

However, there's some good news for Belfort after he was forced to quit TRT cold turkey and flush it out of his system.

"He can fight here [Brazil], no problem, but he can’t use TRT," said Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA) medical director Dr. Marcio Tannure in a recent interview with Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting. "Since he doesn’t have a license to use TRT anymore, he would be tested like any other fighter."

Fox Sports' Mike Chiappetta reported in March that Belfort would have to publicly disclose the results of a surprise February drug test administered by the Nevada State Athletic Commission if he ever wanted to apply for a license.

But despite many people's beliefs of the result of that drug test, Dr. Tannure didn't seem to think it would be a problem if Belfort wanted to fight in Brazil.

"Every time a fighter that tested positive in the past applies for a license in Nevada is tested again, and we will adopt that here as well," said Dr. Tannure. "This is an interesting criteria, and we will also do it, but (Belfort) never tested positive here."

He went on to add that Belfort would be tested like any other fighter and suspended like any other fighter should he fail.

This is great news for Belfort fans (and fight fans in general) who can't wait to see one of the best knockout artists of all time get another well-deserved shot at UFC gold.

It doesn't do much in helping Belfort's case to fight in America, specifically Las Vegas, but it's nice to know he's welcome in at least one corner of the world.


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