It looks like UFC middleweight champ Chris Weidman’s next challenger will indeed by Vitor Belfort, and early reports indicate that Belfort will indeed be seeking a testosterone-usage exemption for his TRT – despite the fact that the bout will happen at an as-yet undetermined event in Las Vegas, N.V. Why is this an issue? After all, doesn’t Belfort get TUEs for all his fights in Brazil? Well, he does get TUEs for his fights there, but commission oversight in Brazil and commission oversight in Nevada are two very different beasts.
And the Nevada beast is already pretty agitated since Belfort failed a postfight drug screening there for his 2006 PRIDE FC bout against Dan Henderson.
MMAJunkie ace scribe Steve Marrocco contacted the Nevada State Athletic Commission to get some insight on what may happen when Belfort applies for his exemption.
The 36-year-old Belfort would be the first fighter in the state to ask the athletic commission for permission to use TRT after previously testing positive for a steroid.
There is no rule in the NSAC’s regulations that specifically addresses Belfort’s status, but the NSAC’s chair said that doesn’t disqualify him from the fight.
“I think TRT is something new, and [an exemption] hasn’t been used very frequently,” NSAC chairperson Francisco Aguilar told MMAjunkie. “To have it regulated in regards to Mr. Belfort, it’s new territory for us. But I don’t think that sways the decision one way or the other.”
Aguilar said that while the regulatory body has “some concerns about his past,” and will want to hear testimony from “the parties involved,” he added, “giving him a license is not going to be a problem.”
“The issue is going to come from a TRT exemption,” he said.
When the commission decides whether or not to grant him an exemption, Belfort’s history guarantees he’ll face additional scrutiny.
Additional scrutiny is good, as it will ensure an even playing field. It will also have another added benefit: if the Brazilian does defeat Weidman, there won’t be an asterisk next to Belfort’s name when the history books list old UFC champs.
Also, no one likes a cheater.