Vitor Belfort has gone through a veritable gauntlet of twists and turns since the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) and UFC banned the controversial testosterone-replacement therapy (TRT) in late February.
“The Phenom” was forced out of his UFC 173 main event with middleweight champion Chris Weidman, and then his proposed bout with Chael Sonnen at UFC 175 fell apart when “The American Gangster” failed a pre-fight drug test for estrogen blockers.
News then came that Belfort had done the same for elevated testosterone when he was still scheduled to face Weidman in February. The whole mess has left Belfort out of his action since his UFC Fight Night 32 knockout of Dan Henderson, and it looks like it’s going to be even longer.
Ariel Helwani reported on this evening’s UFC Tonight that Belfort is apparently planning on facing the winner of July 5’s UFC 175 main event between Weidman and former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida:
“I spoke to Vitor Belfort’s wife Joanna Prado, she told me he has now set his sights on the winner of Lyoto Machida vs. Chris Weidman. Now he has refocused his attention on that middleweight title. And, she also said that the UFC has told them that he will get the winner of that fight, which of course takes place next weekend in Las Vegas, so all of the sudden, Vitor Belfort, back in that title mix.”
Belfort has apparently been working diligently to ready his body for life without TRT, and has passed all subsequent drug tests in the time since his failed test that may have caused TRT to be gone for good.
It’s unclear whether or not Belfort will exhibit the absolutely thunderous knockout power he displayed all throughout 2013, when he dispatched top-level contenders Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold, and Henderson with jaw-dropping head kicks.
“The Phenom” has claimed he can’t live without his treatment, but when the ultimatum of quitting TRT or quitting the UFC arose, Belfort was suddenly able to wean himself off of testosterone.
Regardless, it appears that he will have his long awaited second shot at the belt, depending on what transpires at UFC 175. When will “The Phenom” fight for gold?