Kizer details licensing steps for Belfort in NV

Monday, November 11, 2013

Vitor Belfort, 36, has for the first time in UFC history won three fights in a row with head kicks. He will in all likelihood fight the winner of Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva II for the UFC middleweight championship. There is regular chatter on the Internet that Belfort will not receive a title shot as he would not be able to be licensed in the promotion’s home state of Nevada, because of his use of Testosterone Replacement Treatment. As steroid abuse is linked with diminished natural levels of testosterone, and as Belfort tested positive for PEDs in Nevada in 2006, the Nevada State Athletic Commission would undoubtedly give him a very hard look.

That said, the belief that Belfort cannot be licensed in Nevada is false. UFC president Dana White addressed the issue Saturday night at the UFN 32 post fight press conference.

“That’s not true, that’s completely not true,” said White “There is no reason why Vitor Belfort can’t fight in Las Vegas or anywhere else in the United States. Vitor Belfort has not been abusing TRT. In a million f—ing years I would never let that happen.

“Vitor could fight in the United States now. There’s no reason why he couldn’t fight in Las Vegas, no matter what Keith Kizer says. He should be allowed to fight in Las Vegas. It’s ridiculous.”

The rumors that it would be impossible for Belfort to be licensed are indeed ridiculous – the NSAC licensed Josh Barnett to fight, subject to a year-long, random testing regimen, and Barnett has tested positive on three occasions, to Belfort’s one.

However, like Barnett and a number of others, Belfort would have to appear before the NSAC board, and face questioning and potential further requirements. Receiving a Testosterone Use Exemption could be problematic, but would be considered. NSAC executive director Keith Kizer explains. 

“Due to his past, Mr. Belfort would need to go before the Commission if he applies for a TRT TUE,” Kizer told MMAFighting. “This is not anything new. (For example, I would not administratively grant Antonio Margarito a contestant’s license so he had to appear before the full Commission — likewise, Dave Herman.)

“The Commissioners could grant (with or without condition), deny, or take other action on any such application.”

When asked about the scenario on Monday, Kizer responded that he couldn’t say what the outcome would be for certain, and that any final verdict, “would be up to the five Commissioners.”