Vitor Belfort Drops Out Of UFC 173 Title Fight, Lyoto Machida Will Now Face Chris Weidman

Vitor Belfort’s mega revival of his legendary career may finally have come to an end, as we learn that he has withdrawn from his UFC 173 middleweight title fight with Chris Weidman. The news comes only one day after the NSAC and UFC put a unanimous ban on TRT.

Belfort’s replacement will be none other than Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida, and ‘The Phenom’ had the following to say over at Fox Sports Live:

“The Nevada State Athletic Commission recently altered its policy and no longer will permit testosterone use exemptions and will not permit a TRT program. As other jurisdictions may follow suit, I am going to drop my TRT program and compete in MMA without it. Given the time constraints involved between now and my proposed next bout in may, I have determined not to apply for a license to fight in Nevada at this time.”

This is big news in terms of the title picture, and many fans have already debated the affects of the unanimous TRT ban in Nevada that was handed down just yesterday. We are only 24 hours removed from the ban and already the middleweight title picture is drastically altered.

READ MORE:  Sean O'Malley confirms summer Octagon return, claims he will fight for UFC championship in July

The decision to ban TRT in Nevada came only one day after a shockingly revealing report on the treatment by ESPN’s ‘Outside The Lines’, couple that with Belfort’s quitting the title fight and TRT has literally become the biggest talking point in MMA once again.

Lyoto Machida and Chris Weidman also reacted, in answer to the newly announced title fight in the wake of this bombshell:

‘I’m really excited for this opportunity to fight UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman. I’m going to train hard and be well prepared for this fight.’

Weidman responded:

READ MORE:  Justin Gaethje calls for Charles Oliveira rematch next following UFC 286 win: 'I fought like a complete idiot'

‘Machida is a dangerous fighter and he knows what it takes to be a champion. He’s been on my radar since he dropped to 185 so I’m looking forward to defending my title against at UFC 173 in May’

So what does this mean for the rest of the athletes that publicly, or non-publicly, use the controversial treatment, will we see a change in the sport like non other before. The results of this huge two days of news could shift the landscape of MMA forever.

‘The Dragon’ now steps in to face Chris Weidman at UFC 173, and things have just got a lot more interesting. Belfort will continue to compete without a TUE in Nevada, and Weidman has a whole new fighter to train for. Machida’s tricky counter-fighting style adds a lot more to the champion’s plate than Belfort did, in my opinion.

READ MORE:  USADA respond to Conor McGregor's UFC return claims, stress he must return to testing pool for 6 months first

An obvious question to ask would be how many other high profile fights will be affected by the TRT ban? Will guys like Frank Mir retire? One thing is for sure, this new ruling by the NSAC/UFC has opened a very big can of worms. Stay tuned to for more updates as they arise. Check out the news piece below courtesy of Fox Sports.

Thumbnail: Jason Silva for USA TODAY Sports