Tim Kennedy: If Vitor Belfort Ever Tries To Get Clean, He Can’t Compete At This Level

After neutralizing Michael Bisping in the main event of April’s The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Nations Finale, No. 6-ranked UFC middleweight Tim Kennedy signed on to face bulldozing Olympic silver medalist wrestler Yoel Romero at the stacked UFC 178 pay-per-view (PPV) card on September 27 from Las Vegas.

Defeating “Soldier of God” would most likely earn Kennedy an absolutely huge fight, perhaps against Luke Rockhold or even Vitor Belfort, depending on how “The Phenom’s” licensing situation plays out.

Speaking to Submission Radio, Kennedy detailed a prior agreement to fight Belfort at 205 pounds in Brazil, a bout that only fell apart when the Army Green Beret suggested additional drug testing be brought into the mix:

“I love fighting and I definitely subscribe to the “I’ll fight anybody, anywhere, anytime” thing. So would I have fought Vitor? They asked me to fight him, and I said yes. They asked me to fight him in Brazil, and I said yes. They asked me to fight Vitor Belfort at 205 in Brazil, I said yes.

And then I asked if we could do any anti-doping stuff, and they said no. So not only would I be fighting Vitor Belfort in Brazil, while he’s on steroids, at a weight class that I shouldn’t be fighting at, so yes obviously you can look, it was publicized, he was the one who said no, or his manager said no, whatever. So yeah, I would have fought him, I even said I would fight him, but the levels of how long and idiotic that is, that I’m the one who has to go to Brazil to fight him, no he won’t take any steroid tests for VADA, and I have to fight him at 205, it’s like crazy talk, but I said yeah.”

Interesting. Kennedy has also requested VADA testing for both he and Romero heading into their showdown. It’s clear that “The Sniper” is a staunch proponent of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) in MMA, and the sport could use more like him.

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But regardless of the outcome of this fight with Romero, Kennedy doesn’t think that Belfort will be able to contend with the top rungs of the ultra-talented UFC middleweight division after testosterone-replacement therapy (TRT) was banned. He had some harsh criticism for Belfort’s past and present steroid use, speculating that “The Phenom” is currently using heavily:

“Right now he’s down in Brazil, or back in you know California, training his butt off and injecting, anything that he wants to and loving it, and nobody’s testing him, or like his doctor – when I say his, I’m making quotation fingers “doctor” – so he’s like dripping testosterone out of his eyeballs right now, how old was he when he first failed a drug test, like 18? For anabolic steroids?

So he’s being using for 20 years. Your body doesn’t function naturally now. He’s what, 37 or 38? So like 18 years -But there’s no possible way that he could compete at a high level against the Chris Weidmans, the mes, the Luke Rockholds without chemically enhancing himself. There’s no way. I don’t care if he’s like, drinking Jesus’ blood like he says he is or whatever, it doesn’t work that way. Like, he’s been using steroids for like 15 or 20 years, and he still is using them. If he ever tries to get clean, he can’t compete at this level.”

Kennedy pulls no punches in his assessment of Belfort’s troubles with getting licensed outside of Brazil. All in all, it is getting a bit ridiculous, and steroids and other PEDs are making MMA look like the dirtiest sport on the planet.

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Perhaps it is, and until the testing that Kennedy wants implemented truly goes into effect, that probably won’t change. What, if anything, can be done to clean up fighting?

Photo: Joshua Lindsey for USA TODAY Sports