Following Weidman suffering a broken hand that derailed plans for the bout to headline UFC 181 on Dec. 6 in Las Vegas, UFC president Dana White indicated that the fight would likely move to a date in February, although he left out any further details.
Multiple MMAWeekly.com sources on Thursday confirmed reports that the fight is being targeted to headline UFC 184 with a likely landing at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in February.
Fights are moved all the time due to injury, but this one has an added complication, in that Belfort has been under close scrutiny in Nevada due to drug testing issues.
Belfort was scheduled to face Weidman at UFC 173 on May 24 in Las Vegas, but withdrew from the bout citing not enough time to safely get off of a testosterone replacement therapy regimen after the commission banned its use in February. He was administered a random drug test on Feb. 7 by the Nevada commission and returned elevated levels of testosterone.
Belfort went before the Nevada Athletic Commission to get preliminary approval for a fight license when the bout with Weidman was rescheduled for Dec. 6 in Las Vegas. He was granted approval with the stipulation that he would undergo rigorous random drug testing.
After Weidman was injured and the bout likely on the move to Los Angeles, questions lingered about the drug testing issue, particularly since there would be a change in regulatory jurisdiction from Nevada to California.
Although the move to Los Angeles is not yet set in stone, concerns over testing are mostly a moot point. California State Athletic Commission Executive Director Andy Foster on Thursday indicated that California would be just as stringent in testing Belfort as Nevada had planned to be.
“The testing would be similar (to Nevada’s requirements) and Mr. Belfort would need to complete these tests as a condition of licensure,” Foster told MMAWeekly.com, while also confirming that Belfort’s testing would include both urine and blood testing.