After another huge win in Brazil, Vitor Belfort has finally gotten his coveted middleweight title shot. He’ll be facing the winner of Chris Weidman vs Anderson Silva next year, and should he be victorious, it’ll make him the first fighter to hold belts in three separate weight classes.
However, this development isn’t without its complications. Because of his success, Belfort has unintentionally become the figurehead for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). Despite Belfort’s insistence that he undergoes the therapy to treat a medical condition, many have accused the UFC of “hiding” the fighter in Brazil, where the athletic commission is notoriously less strict in its testing.
With Belfort in the running for a title shot, he’ll almost certainly need to prepare for a fight in the US, which will mean getting his TRT use approved from a stateside organization.
Keith Kizer of the Nevada State Athletic Commission recently spoke to MMA Fighting, where he outlined the steps Belfort would need to take to get a TRT exemption for a Las Vegas fight.
“Due to his past, Mr. Belfort would need to go before the Commission if he applies for a TRT TUE,” Kizer said. “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.”
In terms of Belfort’s “past,” Kizer is likely referring to the fighter’s failed post-fight drug test in 2006, which resulted in a nine month suspension. Belfort circumvented the suspension by fighting in London, which likely did not win him any fans at the NSAC.
Kizer added that he could not say right now if Belfort’s request would be approved, only that it “would be up to the five Commissioners.”