The saga surrounding Vitor Belfort’s TRT use continues to take wild and unexpected turns.
Late Thursday night, the UFC announced that Belfort had withdrawn from his scheduled bout with Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman at UFC 173 due to the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s decision to ban TRT and would be replaced by Lyoto Machida.
Earlier this morning, Belfort broke his silence on the matter via a statement released on his facebook page which directly contradicts the UFC’s reasoning for his withdrawal. Take a look at the entire statement below (translation provided by Bing Translator):
“I never gave up fighting in UFC 173 and never mentioned it. Therefore, all information posted in any mass media advertising that is not true.
What I announced was that I will be giving up “TRT” and not “giving up the fight” to continue my dream of fighting.
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.
I’m sorry that this happened, and I appreciate the strength and understanding of all fans, sponsors, UFC and athletic commissions .”
Belfort’s statement contradicts a UFC press release that said that Belfort “recognizes that he needs an extended period of time to become licensed in the state of Nevada…[and] agreed to withdraw from the fight in order to allow the UFC’s promotional efforts to move forward on time.”
The second notable point stated by Belfort is that he has been promised a shot at the winner of UFC 173’s new main event between Weidman and Machida.
Should Belfort get a title fight before the end of the year, it will be interesting to see how the lack of TRT affects his performance.
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