Chris Weidman can’t catch a break or at least he couldn’t until today.
Since claiming the middleweight title from Anderson Silva at last July’s UFC 162 event, and subsequently defending his title in a re-match bout with ‘The Spider’ the following December at UFC 168, the champ has been followed around by questions of his worthiness.
To his fans, both of his wins acted as proof of what they already knew, that Weidman is the best fighter in the 185 pound weight class and has Anderson’s Silva’s ‘number’, when it comes to fighting the legendary champion.
To his detractors, Weidman is fortunate to be sitting in Silva’s thrown and only claimed the title by way of luck and accident.
Regarding all of it, the humble, yet confident Weidman, has taken it all in stride. However and nonetheless, the champ is looking to put the questions of UFC 162 & 168 behind him and prove himself against the rest of the division.
However, the ‘Pig-Pen’ (like) cloud that has stalked Weidman since July has continued to follow him into his second title defense, and in the form of UFC 173 title challenger Vitor Belfort, and the fighter’s use of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).
Where most champions a fight and move on to face a ‘clean’ competitor, Weidman has been forced to re-litigate his title win and then face a fighter with, what is considered to be, a competitive advantage; TRT.
However, today the champ finally caught a break and his Pig-Pen (dirt) cloud abated.
As fans learned earlier in the day, the Nevada State Athletic Commission has banned TRT from the state of Nevada. As such, Belfort will not be allowed his (physician prescribed) crutch for his May 24th title shot. Resultantly, Weidman is set to face a TRT-free Belfort and by extension, stands to have a level playing field for the Las Vegas fight.
In speaking with MMAfighting.com, the champ appeared to be well pleased with NSAC’s decision.
As the champ commented:
“This is an amazing day for the sport. This is something that I’ve wanted to see happen for quite some time. TRT was and has always been cheating, and I’m glad Nevada finally recognized that, especially since I’m about to fight there against a known TRT user. Hopefully, every other athletic commission follows because this was long overdue…if you need TRT to fight, you shouldn’t fight; period.”
On the point, the champ probably has a point. Wins don’t come from bottles and if they did, then fighters like Jon Jones and Cain Velasquez would be susceptible to losing to any ‘newbie’ that wanted to take PEDs. However and happily, we know this not to be the case. Wins come by way of talent, which is honed by effort and experience, as focused by determination and heart. No doctor can proscribe it and it doesn’t come in an over-the-count or back alley, bottle. It’s administered only through dreams and the sweat put in at the gym.
Come better or worse, on May 24 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Vitor Belfort will have an opportunity to prove that his recent Octagon susses has been more the result of his talent, than his TRT use.