UFC president Dana White – after Weidman’s broken hand scrapped a Dec. 6 date – indicated February was the target, and in an MMAFighting.com report on Sunday, Belfort put an actual date on the fight.
“On Feb. 28, I will be stepping inside the cage and winning this belt,” said Belfort in the report. “It’s going to be good, right after Carnival. Los Angeles is a great place, the first place I lived when I moved to the United States. It was the right place. I’m really happy with this news.”
When Los Angeles became a target, questions arose about Belfort’s recent drug testing issues in Nevada.
Belfort was originally slated to fight Weidman at UFC 173 on May 24 in Las Vegas, but withdrew from the bout citing insufficient time to safely get off of a testosterone replacement therapy regimen after the Nevada Athletic 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 NAC 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 since there would be a change in regulatory jurisdiction from Nevada to California.
California State Athletic Commission Executive Director Andy Foster, however, indicated that Belfort would undergo testing in California that would be every bit as rigorous as what he would have faced in Nevada.
“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 on Thursday, while also confirming that Belfort’s testing would include both urine and blood testing.
UFC officials have yet to confirm the date or location of the fight.