After having one of the more memorable campaigns in the Ultimate Fighting Championship last year, 2014 is going to come to a close without seeing Vitor Belfort fight. After being forced to withdraw from a title fight earlier this year, after the Nevada Commission pulled the plug on TRT, Belfort’s bout with Chris Weidman has been pushed to early 2015, after the middleweight champ injured his hand. If you’re a big Belfort fan, then the past year has been tough.

Of course, all of this is feeding speculation as to how Belfort will look when he fights again, considering he will do so without TRT. In fact, hardly a day went by last year, without someone debating Belfort’s use of the controversial treatment, and whether it was responsible for his jaw dropping victories.

Well, Belfort recently spoke to MMA about his upcoming bout, and not surprisingly, the middleweight claims he’s going to be better than ever when he returns.

“The fact that I haven’t fought in 2014 will only make my opponents surprised with my performance,” Belfort said. “I had time to adapt myself and evolve even more. Despite not having fought, I worked hard at Blackzilians and spent this whole time getting ready to win my third world title in a different weight class in the UFC.”

“The year of 2014 was really full of postponements and twists, but I’m positive that those adversities will only make me stronger and ready for the next challenges,” he said. “I was expecting to fight and win the title, but I believe that everything happens for a reason. My training routine is intense, it’s part of my lifestyle. I will continue focused on reinventing myself and getting stronger every day, waiting for the fight.”

Belfort certainly showcased last year that the old dog is capable of learning new tricks, as he added some pretty nasty kicks to his arsenal (and it paid off big time). Some, however, question whether he can be as explosive as he has been without TRT. Guess we’ll find out soon enough.

The 37 year-old vet also repeated his argument that the UFC should create an interim title in Weidman’s absence. The champ wasn’t too happy to hear Belfort’s proposal when he made it a few weeks back, and noted he just defended the title in July (when Weidman decisioned Lyoto Machida).

Don’t think too many people, outside the Belfort Booster Club, are going to jump on board with this idea…Weidman’s expected to be ready in early 2015 and his bout with Belfort will likely go down in February (or so the UFC hopes).