Since Testosterone Replacement Therapy was banned in mixed martial arts in February 2014, Vitor Belfort, who used the controversial treatment, has gone 1-2 in his last three fights. On Satuday, Belfort faces Gegard Mousasi in the UFC 204 co-main event and Mousasi doesn’t think the Brazilian is the same fighter without the testosterone boost.
“Without the TRT, I feel that he’s not that explosive anymore and his conditioning is not what it used to be,” Mousasi told MMAWeekly.com.
In 2013, while TRT use was still legal in MMA, Belfort logged three consecutive highlight-reel knockouts over Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold and Dan Henderson. Following the ban of TRT, Belfort suffered a first-round loss to Chris Weidman at UFC 187 in his first fight off the therapy. He defeated Henderson in his second outing, but was finished by Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in the first round at UFC 198 in May.
“Of course, he’s not on TRT now. He’s faced the toughest guys so losses against them doesn’t mean that he’s on his way out, but he didn’t look as great as he used to be,” said Mousasi about Belfort’s recent bouts.
“The Dreamcatcher” doesn’t think Befort is the same fighter physically or mentally.
“I think physically, he’s not the same guy. Mentally, he’s also not, but after fighting for a while on TRT and now fighting without TRT, you’re going to adjust. Maybe he has adjusted to fighting without TRT. I feel like he’s less explosive and his conditioning is less. With his age, TRT definitely helps, so we’ll see which Vitor Belfort we have on Saturday.”
Despite thinking Belfort is a diminished version of his 2013 self, Mousasi has prepared to face the best Vitor Belfort that there’s ever been.
“I expect the best Vitor to show up,” he said.