Vitor Belfort did not fail UFC on FX 7 drug test, but he did use TRT


Amidst many rumors that Vitor Belfort failed the drug test for UFC on FX 7, Zuffa was quick to respond that while one fighter’s sample had come back irregular, it was indeed not Belfort’s. They clarified the situation with an official statement (updated; via MMA Mania):

“To dispel rumors that have been circulated, Zuffa wishes to clarify that Vitor Belfort’s drug test results were negative and did not indicate the presence of any performance enhancing drugs. Belfort has been on a medically approved testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) regimen under the supervision of a medical doctor from the State of Nevada, after being diagnosed with hypogonadism, or low testosterone. The purpose of a medically administered TRT regimen is to allow patients with hypogonadism to maintain testosterone levels within a range that is normal for an adult male.”

The fighter that failed the test was found to be Lightweight Thiago Tavares.

However, the story does not end there. The UFC also revealed earlier today that Belfort had been granted a TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption) for TRT prior to his second round KO of Michael Bisping, although his drug test “did not indicate the presence of any prohibited substance for increasing performance improvement.” Belfort was allowed to use TRT by the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (Comissao Atletica Brasileira de MMA), which is part of the new International Mixed Martial Arts Federation.

Now the story has gotten a little strange, but in hindsight, it begins to add up, as Belfort was noted as dancing around any and all questions revolving around TRT. Many thought Belfort looked extremely ripped and muscular for the bout, and his performance was quite impressive considering his standing as a true elder statesman of the sport. Apparently Belfort has hypogonadism, the same condition that prompted Chael Sonnen to use TRT before his first bout with Anderson Silva.

Before last weekend’s UFC 156, Belfort was on hand to address the situation with the following:

“I think people get jealous when a guy at my age is destroying these people getting title shots,” he said. ” … I think when you look good, the tendency of people to judge you and criticize you is bigger because it sells [newspapers]. See, we’re talking about this, but I had a great performance, and we’re spending more time talking about the controversy than my performance.” 

Belfort is a great fighter who is doing amazing things at his age. He is also a fighter who was previously caught using PEDs, failing a test for anabolic steroids back in 2006. After recently shrugging off questions of TRT use, one could begin to question his amped-up call out of Jon Jones after beating Bisping. Belfort is no doubt fighting at a high level, but once again, is that because of hard work, or is it because of TRT? Should he be derided for avoiding the topic and shifting the focus of conversation, or should he just be added to the list of fighters who use TRT to gain an advantage? 

  • Vitor is the only fighter from the oldschool days still fighting and making tittle runs.
    Future Hall of Famer for sure

    • So I guess you just ignored the entire article eh? lol

      Michael Bisping is gonna be PISSED. The only reason fighters need TRT is if they abused steroids earlier in their life.

      Looks like Vitor and Chael both used to shoot up. It's nice to know that the new breed of fighters learned from the mistakes of past fighters i.e. JDS, Jones, Cain, etc.

      • i read the article.

        everyone else is using banned substances, leave vitor alone. if he has a medical condition he is entitled to medication

        and vitor didnt use trt for his fights with jones or rumble. so what are you saying?

        that his technique is nothing with out medication allowed by the commision and prescribed legally by a ufc doctor?

        • OMR- He's been using PED's his whole career, and been on the TRT train for over a year (during the AJ fight).

          His technique is always very good. He just has always had a little bit of extra help.

          • @ Evan

            I think the correct term (here) would be…"sanctioned help".

          • MMA Truth- No, it would be extra help.

        • Stephen Bonnar would be pissed off if he knew that athletes were abusing TRT…….

      • I'll start off with the whold "the only reason people need it is if they used steroids" is a bit inaccurate as there are a couple of other things that would make a need. However, Bryan you dead on about Vitor. He has not only failed a drug test back in 06 or 07, but he was linked to PEDs since he was 18 years old (which if you see what he used to look like you wouldn't be surprised).

        The fact that he's allowed to use Testosterone freely because he screwed himself up with steroids for the past 15 years is one of the worst aspects of MMA at the moment.

        • @evan

          "the only reason people need it is if they used steroids"

          i didnt know BRYAN FONTEZ was a board certified physician???

          • It's not the only reason, but it is the main reason. In combat sports, at least.

        • @ Evan

          How many fighters in The UFC or MMA in general, used to do steroids?

          How many of them built up muscle and power, which they now use as a tool in their fights?

          Should a fighter who used to do a lot of steroids and built up a lot of muscle mass and power, be allowed to compete with fighters who have never used PEDs'?

          My only point about Evan, is if were going to go after Vitor and I see no case to do so, not in 2013 and not with him having a waiver, then lets address the whole question and not just current use, either.

          • You're a little late to the party MMA truth.

            I've been banging this drum for close to mutliple years here now,about the fraudulency associated with TRT. It's a joke. Especially, for the ones that have actually been busted in the past for using PED's.

            "How many fighters in The UFC or MMA in general, used to do steroids? "

            Not sure, no way to tell. Probably a lot. Still wouldn't discount the ones who were actually busted doing it.

            "How many of them built up muscle and power, which they now use as a tool in their fights?"

            Again, probably a lot. However, Vitor isn't a "maybe" in this case. Circumstantial evidence towards a certain group does not excuse the ones who have been caught.

            "Should a fighter who used to do a lot of steroids and built up a lot of muscle mass and power, be allowed to compete with fighters who have never used PEDs'?"

            You're basically asking here if a fighter who used PED's should be able to compete with fighters who do not. If they are on them, they shouldn't. However, if they are off of them (for a certain period of time which would vary per person) then yes they should be allowed to compete. The gains you make using steroids go away eventuatlly. That is why fighters/athletes in the past try to continue using them.

            "My only point about Evan, is if were going to go after Vitor and I see no case to do so, not in 2013 and not with him having a waiver, then lets address the whole question and not just current use, either."

            Back to my original point. I would like too. TRT is a problem, and it is especially a problem when prior steroid users are given a green light to compete on it. Vitor is not an exception to the rule, and he is not any type of scape goat either.

      • I dont think bisping is gonna be pissed at all, although i dont agree with anything that puts an advantage to a single fighter, it should be all or none in my eyes, but people seem to think that TRT is this mythical potion that turns the average joe into an elite fighter, Vitor was better on the feet, and has always had rapid hands with big power, Vitor is and always has been a better fighter than Bisping, this is coming from an English bloke! Its common knowledge that vitor failed the drugs test but he was 29 at the time, older than all those you listed, he may of abused steroids but he aint been caught since 2006. I like Bisping, but TRT did not win Vitor that fight, superior skills, superior speed, and superior power won vitor that fight, all of these things have been apart of his aresenal since he got in the cage. Plus to say that the new breed of fighters learned from past mistakes is well…premature and a little naive, i honestly think that a huuuuge % of mma fighters juice, its the nature of the sport some people will do anything for the advantage. Jones is still young, anything could happen, injury, personal issues, the pressure that he is under to become the G.O.A.T (lets be honest the rate he is going, he could very will destroy silvas record in the next few years) he could easily fold to PEDs, as could JDS, Cain, etc. I know its a sad statement to make but there will always be cheats, and worse there will always be cheats who get away with it, they have perfected the art of cycling PEDs, its the nature of the sport sadly, where the idea of training to your physical, mental and technical best is present in every fight, and most if not all combat sports have the very real possibility of serious injury/death then its a breeding ground for people looking for that extra advantage. An honest honest opinion how many people would turn down PEDs if it equals millions of dollors prize money, place in the record books, nice shiny belt, and you new you could get away with it and no-one would ever know, then what would you do in that position? Like i said i dont condone PEDs, just when the picture is painted things are not always black n white.

      • @Bryan I don't think past usage of roids is the only reason for TRT, sure it is a major percentage but there are some guys who need it for problems they can't help and I don't mind older guys like Hendo using it for the case that they're mind and skills are still there just their body is failing them

        • If their bodies are failing them then they are no longer in the same league. TRT should be banned and if people use it they should be marked as outlaws of the sport. Maybe Royce Gracie should come back and be allowed anything he wants because his mind still knows how to fight he should get a nano suit and have it perform what his mind knows. Look when you can't compete naturally, it's over or find a league you can compete in.

      • Why would Bisping be pissed, Bryan? didn't he fight the TRT version of Chael?

        As for Vitor, I'm actually not surprised since I mentioned how suspicious I was as soon as I saw how ripped his body looked on fight day.

    • I dont think I know one person in my life who uses TRT, its amazing that a gaggle of them have chosen the profession to be a pro fighter.

    • actually true, he is the last of the vanguard of the UFC, the last of the first generation of true mixed martial artists

  • I don't think his call of of Jones was about TRT riods or whatever. He had just finished a top 5 MW, the adrenalin from Ko'ing bisping, and the emotions that must have been pumping through his body are reason enough, especially when considering that Vitor is the only person to have jones in any kind of danger. I think this is reason enough to call out fighters, we see it all the time, when a fighter has a significant win they get excited and call people out. Personally I don't judge anyones comments or actions within minutes of finish a fight, emotion takes over simple.

  • Bisping who has always been against TRT is going to be even worse now, seeing as it just headkicked him into unconsciousness.

    I don't have a problem with TRT as long as you are using it due to a unavoidable problem, NOT to help after earlier steroid use.

    It's very hard to determine the difference though, that;s the big problem IMO

  • Mike : in that last paragraph, did you mean Vitor's amped up yelling about Chael, not Jones ?

  • So everyone who is defending Belfort's TRT use, put up your hand.

    Now, if you slagged off Chael at anytime in his career for using TRT use, also put up your hand.

    Two hands in the air, you're a total hyprocrite.

    • ive never been against TRT use especially if they have a medical condition

      • I wasn't calling anyone out specifically, I don't follow what people say closely enough for that. The two-handers know who they are.

    • agreed. I was a huge Vitor fan. Not any more. If Anderson is found using, same goes for him.

  • Question for Mike Drahota the author of the article: you say 'apparently he has hypoganadism like Chael' (paraphrased), but are either of these confirmed? Not trying to go above and beyond and defend without reason here, but a couple problems with your statement there:

    1) If it isn't confirmed and fact you shouldn't say something like that.
    2) If you think that is the only way to have low T than you need to educate yourself.

  • I updated with the UFC official statement to clarify the statement. And I agree that no, that is definitely not the only to have low T.

  • So that's Sonnen, Hendo and Belfort that have all "beaten" Bisping while on TRT.

    They're 3 of my favourite fighters though…… I don't know how to feel about it. I feel bad for the fighters who are staying natural to have to fight these guys tho. Belfort looked superhumanly ripped for the Bisping fight, I thought something was going on there.

    • Thats just it, ultimately it's cheating a win. I have always despised Bisping and loved Vitor and Dan but now I am changing opinion based on inequality. I always wonder how all these older and worn guys come back and talk about how they never in their life felt so good and in shape. Well now i have the answer, Roids.

  • As a Belfort fan:

    I am disappointed. I'm not disappointed that he was / is on TRT. Not at least if it was with the foreknowledge-and-consent of the NVSAC, the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission, The UFC and under a (legitimate) doctor's supervision. It seems Belfort has met all those requirements.

    As a Bisping Fan:

    What pisses me off about this, is that as I read the above list of various bodies which were informed of Belfort's TRT use, that the fans and the betting-line were not and more importantly, Bisping and his camp, were not. As a fan of the sport, the fighters involved and a member of the TV audience, I think I and everyone else who watched that fight and follows the careers of these or any fighters, has a right-to-know who-is-and-is-not on "sanctioned" TRT. If I feel that way, I can only imagine how Bisping is going to feel and I'm sure we won't have to wait long. And when he makes his case, he's going to have a case.

    This becomes a question of disclosure and it boggles my mind, as to why not, Bisping and his camp or any camp, would not be told when their opponent is on TRT. It probably won't change anything and if it's sanctioned by the commissions, then there's precious little a non-TRT fighter will be able to do about it, however-and-at-least, they will know. And for me as a fan of the sport, that's important. If the playing field is in any way slanted, legally or otherwise, then we need to have full-disclosure on the issue of TRT, to at least give the appearance of a level playing field, because right now, true or not true, it seems as if something sleazy has transpired.

    Again, I say this as a fan of both fighters, Vitor in particular and as a fan that was pulling for him in that fight. I'm disappointed. I think failing to disclose lacks honor.

    • I agree. I think it's their image they are worried about. I think it's only harmful to the image because everyone knows deep down that it is cheating. Thats why there is so much secrecy when someone is on it. The CIA would barely be able to get them to talk about it.

      • @ Falcon

        Regarding the CIA…when was the last time you were water-boarded? 🙁

        • Yeah, I thought they don't do that anymore? ; )

  • the way i see it:

    yeah I hope we could live in a world where no one takes scientific or medical advances and see a sport with just natural humans, but realistically, that's never gonna happen. even if the government gets tougher on finding offenders, offenders will get smarter at sneaking by them. and because of that sometimes I get fed up, I get a little annoyed, i get a few beers in me, and I want to say:

    why not just let every performance enhancing drug legal in the sport and then only those who are smart and with the best technique can win. also those who treat their body like a anti-human cyborg can have their time and then live through all the bad side effects later in life. let fighters do what they want. most of the ones using peds look like assholes anyway.

    let assholes be assholes.

    if you don't fuck assholes, they eventually become pussies, cause assholes are only two inches away…