Vitor Belfort has been heavily criticized during his career resurgence since returning to the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2009, mainly due to his utilization of testosterone replacement therapy.
His TRT use was deemed legal due to most athletic commissions issuing therapeutic use exemptions during the time Belfort was on the regimen. But that all came to an end earlier this year when the Nevada Athletic Commission voted unanimously to end the controversial practice.
Belfort has since been weaning off of the therapy and pursuing a fight license in order to capitalize on a three-fight winning streak that has put him in title contention.
The Brazilian fighter finally got approval from Nevada to fight Chris Weidman, and while an injury to Weidman has delayed their fight until UFC 184 in February, Belfort has been training without the use of TRT and says that he is now stronger, lighter, and faster than when he was using the therapy.
“It was better for me (to stop using TRT) because I left a boring treatment that was bothering me, and now I’m stronger, lighter and faster,” Belfort recently said in an interview with SporTV.
“So, for me, it was wonderful. Doesn’t matter what my blood says nor the result of the blood test. What matters is what is in my head.”
Although Belfort is now off of the TRT regimen, because results of a voluntary out-of-competition drug test in February showed an elevated ratio of testosterone-to-epitestoserone and a prior positive test for steroids, Nevada has required him to undergo stringent drug testing upon request.
At the behest of the Nevada Athletic Commission, Belfort was given a random drug test on Nov. 1, which included both blood and urine specimens. NAC executive director Bob Bennett recently confirmed the test and its results to MMAWeekly.com.
Belfort tested negative for all banned substances and his blood serum testosterone levels were within normal range, according to Bennett.
It’s likely that he will face more testing prior to and surrounding the fight with Weidman, but if Belfort is to be believed, he shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
Belfort and Weidman are scheduled to headline UFC 184 on Feb. 28 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.