Vitor Belfort's long, strange trip is not finished.
On Feb 7, Belfort was administered a surprise test by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
On Thursday, the NSAC voted unanimously to ban the use of Testosterone Replacement Therapy in mixed martial arts.
Belfort's attorney then sent the UFC a statement from the fighter, which the UFC in turn passed on to FOX Sports "UFC Live."
"Given the time constraints involved between now and my proposed next bout in May, I have determined not to apply for a license to fight in Nevada at this time," read the statement purportedly by Belfort.
However, the next morning, Belfort posted a contradictory message on Facebook, in his native Brazilian Portuguese.
"I never gave up fighting in UFC 173 and never mentioned it," wrote Belfort as translated by Bing. "Therefore, all information posted in any mass media advertising that is not true. The UFC decided to put another opponent in my place because I didn't have time to fit the new rules of the NSAC. According to the UFC, I will face the winner of Weidman vs Lyotto within the new regulations of all the Athletic Commissions."
Then word came out that the results of Belfort's surprise test had come back and were known to the fighter, his attorney, the UFC, and the NSAC. However, as Belfort had not applied for a license to fight, the sole person who could release the results was him, and he hasn't, and he won't.
Now Belfort took to Instagram and shared what was asserted to be a message from his doctor, along with a video of the fighter pummeling in a ring.
"Vitor Belfort's TRT have always been a medical decision aimed to health improvement. The same treatment strategy is available and widely prescribed to every patient who makes the decision to live better and healthier life through their natural ageing proccess. Any performance advantage results not from the use of medication, but from the athlete's unshaken discipline and absolute dedication to an extremely demanding training routine, impecable nutrition and resting. In the name of his passion for the sport and dedication to his fans, my patient made the decision to interrupt his health treatment. We are going to need 90 days to adapt Vitor's treatment and nutrition in order to support his extremely hard training routine – This is what makes Vitor one of the best fighters on UFC history and the most dedicated athlete I've ever had the honor to work with."
The doctor was not named. And a doctor who can't spell impeccable or process saying that testosterone does not result in a performance advantage is, frankly, strange.
The length of time is why the UFC had to remove Belfort from the title fight. ZUFFA CEO Lorenzo Fertitta explains to PED-use-184142786-mma.html?soc_src=mediacontentstory" target="_blank">Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole.
"At the end of the day, we have a fight to promote on May 24," said Fertitta. "Chris is going to defend his title, and you know how this business works: You've got to get commercials in two to three months early. We've got to get key art done. We've got a fight to promote and Vitor, because they came down with this ruling [Thursday], Vitor is going to have to comply with that, which he is going to.
"But we don't know how long that process will take for him to get a license, whether it is two weeks or two months. We can't be in limbo as a company. We need to promote a fight, so the most logical thing was for Vitor to get going with his process to file an application in Nevada, and once that gets done, we could revisit this thing. But we have a fight to promote on the 24th and we can't sit around in limbo and wonder whether he's going to be eligible to fight."
At some point Belfort will apply for a license to fight in Nevada, and at that time the results of the test will public information.
However, if and when he applies, the results of the test would become public information and the long, strange trip will become a little clearer.
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