It’s ridiculous that the UFC is seriously considering putting Vitor Befort in line to fight middleweight champion Chris Weidman. Based on off-cuff remarks from Dana White, it’s like all those failed drug tests never happened.
During the pre-fight media scrum at UFC Fight Night 45, White actually said that he’s looking at doing that fight—in Brazil, of all places.
Those last two words are the worst possible thing that any MMA fan could hear. Not only is Brazil infamous for having “loose” athletic commissions as far as combat sports, but it’s also widely suspected that Belfort fights there just to avoid worrying about the far more stringent drug testing policies in the United States.
Don’t forget, Belfort already wasted his title opportunity by dropping out of UFC 173 following a sport-wide ban on testosterone replacement therapy, only to later reveal that he failed a drug test that same month.
Right now, the only things keeping Belfort from fighting in Brazil are the Nevada State Athletic Commission and Team Serra-Longo. Neither party should ever allow Belfort to fight Weidman outside of Nevada, let alone outside the country.
What if Belfort beats Weidman and fails another drug test? What if Belfort pops for elevated testosterone just days before the fight?
Belfort has already proven that he can’t be trusted, and as far as a headliner, he’s a ticking time bomb of bad press. He shouldn’t be licensed ever again, but technicalities are keeping him around like a bad virus.
In fact, he’s more than a virus. Belfort is a rotten cancer that’s hurting the MMA world, simply festering the sport’s image the longer he hangs around.
Giving the Brazilian a UFC title fight in his home country won’t quell any of that talk. If anything, it’ll be the biggest story going into the match. That’s just a bad look for everyone involved, and does nothing but put Weidman at an unfair disadvantage. It’s simply not worth the risk, especially when the UFC has plenty of other dependable challengers waiting in the wings.
If Weidman wants Belfort, it has to be in Las Vegas. Anywhere else is inexcusable.