ESPN's Brett Okamoto sat down with Vitor Belfort ahead of The Phenom's fight with Michael Bisping on Jan. 19 at a UFC on FX event in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Brett Okamoto: You’ve said you feel the best you’ve ever felt. You’ve been fighting professionally since 1996. Where in your career do you think you’re at?
Vitor Belfort: In my mind, when I’m 40, we’ll see how my body feels. That’s five good years in front of me. I’m open. I’m just doing my best. My wife will tell me the truth. She’ll be the first one. I believe even Lorenzo will tell me to stop. The UFC is so nice to its fighters. They never abuse fighters. They could have made money off fighters who have retired, so I think I’m in good hands.
BO: Some fighters in their 30s have been diagnosed with low testosterone levels and received exemptions to use testosterone replacement therapy [TRT]. Have you ever applied for TRT or would you consider it?
VB: If a question is private, I have the choice to answer or not. If I make it public, it’s not private anymore. If I want to say something private I will say it, but I keep to myself and I respect the laws of the sport. Whatever the organization, whatever the law -- they know what to do. This is too controversial, why am I going to say something that doesn’t accomplish anything? If it’s legal, they know what to do. If it’s legal, there’s nothing to say about it. It’s legal.
BO: As you mention, TRT is legal for fighters who qualify for it. Do you believe it’s getting a bad image in the sport? Fans are too quick to judge fighters who use it?
VB: It’s hard. Like, you’re either a Republican or Democrat. Who is right? I think it’s this: The truth is always in the middle. Of course, some things are non-negotiable. I think in life, you just need to find a balance. That’s the problem with the rule, is that everyone is so radical. That’s my opinion. I’m very faithful to the things I believe in and I’m working on myself. I don’t like to judge. When you judge people, it sounds like you are God. We live in a freedom country. It is what it is.
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