This past week has been a whirlwind for UFC middleweight Vitor Belfort.
He went from preparing to fight for the middleweight title, to being denied the use of TRT in the state in which the title fight was set, to dropping out all together.
Lyoto Machida has since replaced him against Chris Weidman at UFC 173 but Belfort still has an uphill climb to not only return TRT free, but to prove that he didn’t need it to be one of the scariest fighters in the MMA world.
In his defense, teammate Rashad Evans used the MMA Hour as a platform to give Belfort a voice that hasn’t been heard much since the TRT. “I don’t know, hopefully he gets the title shot. The thing with [Vitor] having to pull out, or the fact that he had to be pulled out, was that he wouldn’t have been able to pass the inspection with the new rules.”
Evans continued with the reason for Belfort’s withdrawal, “Because it takes at least 12 weeks for [TRT] to be out of your system. He didn’t have that. So he wouldn’t have been able to within the rules and regulations of it. I don’t think he needs to compete with TRT. He’s a great fighter, great athlete, he doesn’t need any. I see so many people, they say such negative and nasty things about him and there’s been people that can make him the face of TRT, like there wasn’t so many other fighters who’ve done it, and [still do] it.”
Evans is on the sidelong rehabbing an injury that pulled him from UFC 170. They will now share some time off as they wait a return to their respective divisions but Evans says he is hoping for a title shot for his fellow Blackzilian, “I hope he does get a chance to fight for the belt, and I hope he does get a chance to show people that him winning those fights had nothing to do with the TRT, it was just his ability and hard work.”
For news on Belfort’s ongoing saga and Evans’ timetable of return visit SciFighting.com