TRT R.I.P.: UFC 173 Set To Be A Verdict On Vitor Belfort’s...

TRT R.I.P.: UFC 173 Set To Be A Verdict On Vitor Belfort’s TRT Wins


As fans became aware this afternoon, the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) has instituted a complete and absolute ban on testosterone replacement therapy or TRT.

No longer will fighters be able to apply to the commission for therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs’) and under no circumstances will any exonerations to the prohibition be made.

In short, NSAC’s new policy on TRT is cut and dried, and very clear; TRT use in the state of Nevada is now a dead issue.

News of the ban appears to have been greeted with universal applause by most, if not all interested parties, and most certainly appears to have pleased the UFC’s management.  

As the brand is trying to build MMA into a mainstream sport, TRT and its subsequent use by its fighters, has been always be viewed by the promotion as a hindrance to those efforts. With the new NSAC policies in force, the UFC – and the sport as a whole – can now move forward in that process of building, and without the stigma of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) hanging over their heads.

In review, the new policy levels the playing field for fighters that don’t use TRT and it goes a long way to ensuring that fight outcomes remained certified. Combined, the dyad stands as good reason for all to embrace the new rule.

However, as prohibition failed to stop drinking and the ‘drug war’ has failed to stop people from using narcotics, it’s reasonable to surmise that fighters that are motivated to use PEDs will do so, and regardless of any ramifications. On this point, the new NSAC policies are merely guidelines and not a magical cure-all for making the problem go away.

As to the fighters affected by the new ruling there are a number. However, there is only one that fans are likely to perceive as being truly impacted by it, and that’s middleweight challenger, Vitor Belfort.

Belfort has become the poster child of the TRT issue and for one reason, he’s been winning. Where other fighters such as Chael Sonnen, Frank Mir, Antonio Silva, Forest Griffin and Ben Rothwell – to name a few – have all used TRT in the past, none of them have used it to the point of either winning or consistently winning, and certainly none have used it to the point of earning a title shot, which, of course, Belfort has.

In short, Belfort is the only successful TRT fighter the sport and as such, many have attributed his success to that of his PED use. However, Belfort’s supporters have always argued that if TRT was such a wonder drug then every fighter taking it should have netted Belfort’s results. However, they haven’t. Defacto, they argue that it’s Belfort’s skill that’s earned him his title shot and not his TRT use.  

Alas and however, it now appears that the argument will not only be put to rest, but also to the test. With NSAC’s new TRT policies in place and Belfort set to face middleweight champion Chris Weidman in Las Vegas on May 24th, the ‘Phenom’ will be required to take his UFC 173 title bout ‘clean.’

As to possible outcomes there are, obviously, only two.

In the first scenario, Belfort loses to Weidman, with the net result being that his previous successes are written off as the product of his (Belfort’s) TRT usage. Scenario number two has Belfort beating Weidman, thus proving his (Belfort’s) former TRT use as having had nothing to do with his TRT wins.

Either way, UFC 173 will deliver a verdict on Vitor Belfort and his TRT use. It was the difference, it made no difference. One way or the other fans will finally get the question answered on May 24th.  


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  • nokick

    i am an old hungry lion that in lived in the jungle of Brazil and i'm hungry to TRT. ROAR.

  • watermelon fresh

    If he gets dominated by Weidman, it takes nothing away from belforts wins or accomplishments. He's that good and probably 2nd best middle weight for years now. Imo Anderson beating him was his biggest accomplishment and why? Because Belfort has always been elite.

    • Brian Cox

      Sadly WF, the naysayers will say 'I told ya so.' I can hear it, now. A win for VB proves a point. He's talented and it wasn't the TRT.

      • falcon4917

        I would never say TRT causes wins, I would say it helps with wins. He wouldn't take it otherwise if there were no benefits.

        • Evan Holober

          It definitely helped him. His performances after 2011 were so methodical and deadly that he basically had all the skills of his younger self, with the knowledge and self confidence of a 15 year veteran.

          • darejz00

            That's exactly what TRT does to these older fighters, well said Evan.

    • falcon4917

      He's probably been on something for a long time and so all those years are put in question.

  • IGMBurninPiff

    I had Weidman winning this whether he was on TRT or not, I think Belfort on TRT still couldn't stop the takedowns of Weidman, he'd have to connect immediately before Weidman got to him. If the "legal limit" is still 6:1 he doesn't even need a TUE he could just juice up to that 5:1 6:1 limit and it's "legal" isn't it?

    • Brian Cox

      I agree SOS, if Chris wins…then on, off, for Belfort on TRT, it doesn't matter.
      To be honest, I think the more interesting fight would be to give Belfort all the advantages in TRT that he wanted, and then see if the champ can still beat him.

      I have a ton of faith in Chris and I don't think anyone in his class could beat him, simply based on the fact that they had started taking TRT or anything else. Weidman is a talented and powerful fighter. 'Juice' is not going to beat him. A fighter is going to need a great deal more than some compound or magical balm. Talent, Machida-esque talent, is what might bring the champ down, but not a needle. That's just tacky.

  • TheXperience

    So "if" he would loose to weidman (which i dont see happenening with or without trt) all of this sudden his past impressive wins "must be" because of the trt? What kind of bias nonsense is that? The only thing thats being put to the test is weidmans skillset versis belfort's! Nothong more, nothing less!

    • Brian Cox

      TE, I put it in the extreme to please VB's detractors, and because that's exactly what they will say. It's the 'I told you so' crowd.

      As I see it, they'll hop all over that to demonstrate that VB won his fights as a result of the TRT. It's my belief that the fight won't be a five seconds old before we'd hear it…"I told ya so. No TRT no Phenom.'

      I love VB. I'll defend him all day. Personally, I don't think his TRT use has anything to do with his wins. I'd argue all day long that they have nothing to do with it.

      Simply put, VB is a great fighter and has found new purpose in his fighting. I put it down to his heart and him being happy; to his willingness to adapt and evolve his game.

      TRT did not magically teach him a whole new style. You and I both know it. That' a lot of gym work, sweat, pain, focus and dogged determination. None of that comes in a bottle.

      I'm with SOS on this, at least to a point. If Weidman is to win, then he's going to win and regardless of Belfort being on PEDs. I have a ton of faith in Chris and if he could put Anderson Silva away twice, then VB on PEDs shouldn't be an issue.

      I've seen tons of guys on steroids fail. Talent is what counts and VB is simply a talented fighter. I think TRT is over blown in terms of his success. He's winning because he's that good.

      Finalizing, I love both these fighters. I wish both the best of luck. And I'd tell VB he doesn't need the TRT. And I'd tell Chris, don't worry about it if he's on it.

      • falcon4917

        It may not give him a win or loss either way but it helps either way.

  • enjoylife321

    Vitor is going to be on TRT up to the last minute IMO so he tests clean….There is an advantage in that alone..

    • Brian Cox

      I'd agree. He's probably getting the news by way of mule. :-)

  • watermelon fresh

    If you have ufc on demand look at Vitor vs Franklin and then compare it to any recent Vitor fights. It's astounding how different Vitor looks

  • falcon4917

    It doesn't create skill and yes he can win without it but it helps him win. Simple. He could beat Chris without it, but with it he has a better chance. Simple. Cheating.

  • Evan Holober

    Weidman was going to win anyway. He's just much better than Vitor.