Vitor Belfort Cleared To Fight In Brazil, But Will It Matter?

No. 2-ranked UFC middleweight contender Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort saw his UFC 173 title shot against Chris Weidman go up in smoke when the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) and UFC decided to ban testosterone-replacement therapy (TRT) from all MMA competition.

Belfort began the long, arduous process of weaning his body off of TRT, the controversial therapy that, while using it over the course of 2013, Belfort racked up three insane headkick knockouts over top-level competition in Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold, and Dan Henderson.

Many were quick to say it was the TRT that gave Belfort his strength; others were just as quick to reply that the testosterone didn’t make him able to unleash the bone-shattering strikes we’ve seen from him lately.

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In any case, Belfort has been cleared to fight once again…kind of. While there are apparently some holdups in getting him licensed by the NSAC, news has come today that Belfort has been cleared to receive a license in his home country of Brazil.

Dr. Marcio Tannure, medical director for Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA), spoke up to MMAFighting.com to state Belfort is ready to fight in Brazil:

“He can fight here, no problem, but he can’t use TRT. Since he doesn’t have a license to use TRT anymore, he would be tested like any other fighter. Every commission has its standards. I don’t know which test he did and what was the result, so I can’t talk about it and which criteria they’re considering in (Belfort’s) case. Every time a fighter that tested positive in the past applies for a license in Nevada is tested again, and we will adopt that here as well. This is an interesting criteria, and we will also do it, but (Belfort) never tested positive here.”

That’s good news for Belfort, but the UFC has been looking to book him in a big fight in Las Vegas for quite some time now.

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And he’s been accused of hiding inside the friendly confines of his home country. Regardless, Belfort insists that he’s passed all drug tests set before him, this week stating that he’s become an “animal” thanks to his love for Jesus rather than TRT.

He wants to come back to a title shot, but his next bout won’t likely be in Brazil.

The Belfort saga rages on, and something tells me the fact that he’s been licensed to fight in his home country won’t matter too much this time around.