Chris Weidman is scheduled to defend his UFC Middleweight crown for the second time against Brazilian striker Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort with the bout likely to take place in Las Vegas in early summer. Weidman retained his belt after opponent Anderson Silva suffered a gruesome leg break in their rematch last month. Belfort is next in line after a slew of head kick knockouts solidified his position as No. 1 contender.
Despite winning five of his last six bouts, Belfort has been roundly criticized for his use of Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT). The legal treatment is used to raise the amount of testosterone in men to ensure their count meets “normal” levels. However, the issue with Belfort is the fact he has been caught with elevated levels of testosterone in the past, stemming from illegal steroid usage. The use of banned substances is said to affect the natural production of testosterone in later life, and since this appears to be the case with Belfort, his opponent’s coach condemns the legality of Belfort’s TRT exemption.
“I know Chris is beating the guy but why give him an advantage? Why does he deserve that? All he did was abuse his body with steroids so that now he needs the exemption. It’s bulls—.” Ray Longo told website, Bloody Elbow.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) seems to have a similar viewpoint. Executive Director Keith Kizer has stated Belfort will struggle to gain a TRT exemption in Nevada due to his prior steroid usage and he will have to undergo additional testing in the months prior to the fight.
TRT exemption or not, Belfort deserves another shot at the Middleweight belt and he will be hoping for a better outcome than his last attempt when Silva finished him with a highlight reel front kick in the opening round of their 2011 bout.