Since his removal from the UFC 173 main event title bout against middleweight champion Chris Weidman, Vitor Belfort has been the focal point of controversy.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission on Thursday voted unanimously to ban applications for exemptions for testosterone replacement therapy, which Belfort has enlisted for the past couple of years.
Within hours of the commission’s decision, Belfort’s removal from the fight was announced with arguments immediately ensuing about whether it was his decision or the UFC’s.
At the end of the day, a key factor was the time that Belfort believes is necessary to switch from a regiment that includes TRT to one that does not so that he can compete without it.
Belfort on Saturday made a post to his Instagram page that says his doctor told him he needs 90 days to adapt his treatment and nutrition so that he can fight without TRT.
Below is Belfort’s Instagram post, which he credits to his doctor, but whom he does not identify:
“I would like to share the declaration of my doctor: Vitor Belfort’s TRT have always been a medical decision aimed to health improvement. The same treatment strategy is available and widely prescribed to every patient who makes the decision to live better and healthier life through their natural ageing process. Any performance advantage results not from the use of medication, but from the athlete's unshaken discipline and absolute dedication to an extremely demanding training routine, impeccable nutrition and resting. In the name of his passion for the sport and dedication to his fans, my patient made the decision to interrupt his health treatment. We are going to need 90 days to adapt Vitor’s treatment and nutrition in order to support his extremely hard training routine – This is what makes Vitor one of the best fighters on UFC history and the most dedicated athlete I've ever had the honor to work with.”
After his removal from the Weidman bout, Lyoto Machida agreed to step in and face Weidman at UFC 173. Belfort said that he was told he would then challenge the winner of that bout, although he has yet to provide a timetable for his return to fighting outside of Saturday’s Instagram post.