Dana White: Vitor Belfort Can Fight in Las Vegas, May Not Have to Give Up TRT


Much has been speculated about the next fight for current surging Middleweight contender Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort. While the Brazilian sensation has been annoying UFC president Dana White by constantly calling out almost every big-name fighter who wins, one man did accept his challenge. That man is Chael Sonnen, who has newfound momentum after submitting the dangerous Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC Fight Night 26 last Saturday.

However, there’s supposedly a lot of red tape to be cleared before that bout can happen outside the confines of Brazil. Belfort’s recent use of TRT has been well documented and his past drug test failure for anabolic steroids in Las Vegas has had his ability to fight in a big U.S.-based pay-per-view in question. According to White, that may not exactly be the case:

“They say Vitor can’t fight here and that is complete bulls***. Vitor Belfort can fight here, he can fight in Vegas or any of these places. It’s not a given that he has to give up the treatment when he’s in Vegas. The guy has been busted before. He’s had some issues and he’s going to have to go before the athletic commission and they would decide what they are going to do. That doesn’t mean that he can’t fight in Vegas or that Vitor Belfort is banned from Vegas and something crazy is going to happen. Or that we’re hiding him in Brazil because he’s on TRT. That is stupid Internet s***. Vitor Belfort is a big draw in Brazil so he fights in Brazil.”

There’s no doubt that Belfort is a huge draw in his home country of Brazil, but many have speculated that he fights there so often due to perceived licensing issues and controversy stemming from TRT and other PEDs. Adding fuel to the fire, NSAC (Nevada State Athletic Commission) commissioner Keith Kizer has stated in the past that Belfort would not receive a license to fight were he to apply for one in Las Vegas.

Many fans attribute Belfort’s current run of shocking success largely to TRT. The 36-year-old “Phenom” has destroyed both Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold with viciously effective headkicks this year. Now, after many rumors, he sow being matched up with Chael Sonnen, although nothing is close to being confirmed as of yet.

Sonnen was busted himself for elevated testosterone after his epic UFC 117 against Anderson Silva. He came clean, served a six-month suspension, notified the commissions of any future use, and got a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) to do so.

It’s hard to imagine the NSAC doing the same for Belfort should he choose to file for a TUE in the state of Nevada. A potentially huge bout with “The American Gangster” could be on the line, but will Belfort risk not having his valuable therapy to make the trip to the States? Only time will tell.  

  • D

    I don't buy it Dana White, I don't buy it.

    He may be a big draw in Brazil, but so is Anderson Silva…yet Silva has only fought there twice in his 17 UFC fights, and has only defended his title there ONE time. One would think the champ would get home field advantage more often than that. Vitor on the other hand, has fought in Brazil 3 of his last 4 fights, and the other was in Canada…meaning that he hasn't fought in the US since well before his TRT use became public knowledge. NSAC won't license him, and I won't believe that other states are willing to anymore either until I see it.

    That said, I'd like to see a 195 pound catchweight fight between Chael T/E Sonnen and TRT-tor in Brazil, just to see the Brazilian crowd react to 50-45, 50-45, and 50-45 and Chael's post fight act.

    • Probably has more to do with Anderson being a draw everywhere. So they can make more money off of him out of Brazil.

    • I agree this is 100% hiding him in Brazil to allow him the TRT so he can continue making highlight reels for the UFC.

    • No. Anderson fights mostly in Vegas where the money is. That is why he does not fight in Brazil more often than Vitor. Yes, Anderson is a bigger draw than Vitor and would substantially fill a football arena in Brazil, but the money to be generated in Vegas will still be bigger than in Brazil. Brazil shows ALL UFC fights for free. The only money to be made are Live gate money, promotional sponsors, and cable viewership money (Sky) in Brazil. Where as in Vegas, they get PPV money, private screening money, sponsors, casino money, etc.

      Vitor is a big draw in Brazil because the UFC needs to have a local figher to headline a card. And after Anderson, Vitor is very well known in Brazil. See how the crowd reacted when Lyoto fought there? Imagine if he did that more. He'd be the same big draw fighter as Vitor in Brazil.

      I won't argue with you with anything else. You're pretty spot on.

  • If Chael gets matched up with Vitor it looks like he is getting a title shot soon against Silva or Weidman should he win.

    Chael is fresh right now and took no damage.

    • No

    • For the sake of the argument that he gets a fight with Belfort, a fight that he has not earned, I fail to see how all of a sudden he'd be in-line for another freaking title-shot.

      Beyond that, lets say he gets the fight and gets a win, he might…might…have a shot at beating Silva; third times a charm and all that. However, Chris Weidman would kick his *** all over the Octagon. Weidman, as Jones, has no wrestling lessons to learn from Sonnen and only stand-up and submission skills to teach him.

      He did a lot to improve his station with a lot of MMA fans this past weekend and in the lead-up to the fight, however, he has not done so much as to waltz himself into his 3rd title fight in 5 fights and 4th in 7 fights, and all based off of a 6 & 4 record, with 2 submissions to his credit.

      • D

        How has he not "earned" a fight with Vitor, and since when is a fight with Vitor something to be earned? He is not the champion.

        But for the sake of argument, Chael is 6-4 since returning to the UFC. Vitor is 5-2 since returning. Not including Jones and Silva, Chael is 6-1 (6-0 in his last 6 against people outside the top 3 p4p) and Vitor is 5-0. There records compare very favorably.

        Furthermore, I would argue that what Chael just did in submitting Shogun in the first round trumps anything Vitor has done in his latest UFC run, and that his wins against Rua, Bisping, Stann, Marquardt, Okami, and Miller came against slightly tougher competition than Vitor's wins against Rockhold, Bisping, Johnson, Akiyama and Franklin.

        I would like to know the basis of your quick dismissal of Chael's wrestling skills against Weidman, who has NEVER faced an MMA wrestler of his caliber (Munoz did not attempt a single takedown and does not count). Chael's boxing is very underrated as well, he would give Weidman a run for his money there. I won't deny that Weidman's submission game is on another level, but we haven't seen him pull anything off from his back. I think Weidman would be a slight favorite in that fight; with all due respect I also think you're very, very foolish to count Sonnen out.

        Lastly, don't want to see Chael "waltz himself into his 3rd title fight in 5 fights," which would require him to beat Belfort. If you're so worried that he would do that, then maybe it's a fight that needs to happen.

        Bottom line: If Sonnen can prove he is better than Belfort right now, he deserves the shot over Belfort. Past title shots are irrelevant.

        • As a Belfort fan and while respecting Sonnen's talent, I worry not about the fight, but rather, the purpose and legitimacy of the rankings.

  • Ivy

    "Wandy" first for Chael.

    • Better than Belfort. He's done nothing to earn a shot at the #1 contender (aside from Silva & his rematch). The whole thing is a joke, IMO.

      • Ivy

        I think Chael could beat Anderson Silva though. Chael owned him for 95% of the first fight, and 95% of the first round of the second fight. Then, in the second round Chael's own mistake cost him. Weidman exposed AS, and if he could capitalize on that so could Chael. I don't see very many guys in the MW division who pose Chael an unforseeable victory.

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