UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman's striking coach Ray Longo has not been shy in his criticism of Vitor Belfort who, despite failing a drug test this year in Nevada (the second failure of his career), has not been suspended or fined by the state commission and has been awarded the next title shot at the "All-American" in December. Belfort has used performance-enhancing drugs for years, including a recent multi-year stint where he only fought outside of the U.S. where he was permitted to use testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) at a time when he wasn't licensed in states like Nevada and state officials said he'd be unlikely to be allowed to use the drug treatment.
TRT use has been effectively banned since Belfort failed his last drug test, in February, and he claims that he will be banned-drug free in the lead-up to and during the fight with Weidman. Longo says that the champ will be prepared for Belfort at his most roided or TRT'd up, however.
“We’re going to prepare for the TRT version of Vitor Belfort. We’re going to prepare for the best Vitor Belfort there is. Weidman loves to test himself. He’ll beat him on steroids, off steroids – it doesn’t matter. We want to make it fair and we want the best Belfort there is," Longo said in a recent interview with MMA Junkie.
Longo went on to echo middleweight contender Luke Rockhold in saying that he isn't confident that Belfort will, in fact, make it through what Nevada regulators have claimed will be enhanced drug testing of "The Phenom," and to the UFC title fight with Weidman.
“I just thing on his past actions, as a logical person, I don’t think I can be that comfortable. We have to be ready for a contingency plan in case the guy fails the test, which kind of stinks...I’m definitely not comfortable,” the coach said.
“I just hope the guy passes the drug test. I hope the guy mans up and does what he has to as a man and for his kids and to set a good example. Instead of talking about it, just do it. Take the drug tests, pass them, and let’s get the fight on...I’m just hoping the guy does the right thing and he had an epiphany somewhere and he’s going to do the right thing. Let’s pass the test and fight. So that’s what I want to happen.”
Do you think Longo is just trying to mess with Belfort's head in the run-up to the fight against Weidman? Or, do you think the coach may truly worry that Belfort will once more get caught by a drug test?
Let us know in the comments section!