Vitor Belfort is the number two ranked fighter in the UFC’s middleweight division and one of its most feared strikers. Since August of 2011Belfort has gone down in defeat only once and stands a record of 5 – 1 in the promotion. “The Phenom” managed to cull all five of his victories by way of (early) stoppages, with his lone loss – a light-heavyweight title fight with Jon Jones – coming outside of his home division.
In short, since losing his UFC 126 title challenge match with Anderson Silva back in 2009, the Brazilian fighter has steadily built a case for himself and another title shot. However, just as Belfort was set to get his second crack at the 185 pound throne, fate stepped in and snatched the opportunity that he had earned. Long known to be a user of sanctioned TRT, the 37 year old fighter – along with others – found himself on the losing end of a Nevada State Athletic Commission ruling banning the therapy. As such, and not able to be ‘clean’ for his assigned UFC 173 title fight with middleweight champion Chris Weidman, Belfort was summarily dropped from the card and replaced with Lyoto Machida. The sentiment being, that the promotion coulnd't afford to take a risk on Belfort failing a drug test.
Today, fans are finding out that UFC President Dana White hasn’t forgotten about Belfort and the work that the fighter has put in to earn a title shot. More particularly, the promotion’s president has stated unequivocally that if / when Belfort gets his clearance from NSAC that he will be awared the winner of Weidman vs. Machida, which is set for this coming July in Las Vegas, and UFC 175.
In responding to a question during an ESPN Fan Chat, and whether or not Luke Rockhold might earn a title shot with a win over Tim Boetsch at this weekend’s UFC 172 card in Baltimore, White stated that the shot is Belfort’s and that all he needs to do is get his clearance from NSAC.
“Vitor. After he gets his business cleared up with Nevada.”
If this is the case, then Belfort should be well on his way to a title fight. “The Phenom” stated last month that he’d need 90 days to be TRT free, and as such, his required detox time puts him on a collision course to take on the winner of Weidman vs. Machida sometime in the late fall or early winter of this year.
Surely this news will be joyously greeted Belfort and his throng of fans. Moreover, it’s probably going to be received as great news by all who want to see what a TRT free Vitor Belfort can do in the Octagon.