Vitor Belfort: “TRT Doesn’t Win Fights”

May 18, 2013
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Vitor Belfort at UFC 126Former UFC light heavyweight titleholder Vitor Belfort rejuvenated his career when he dropped down to the middleweight division in 2008.  Since making the move, “The Phenom” has only been defeated by Anderson Silva at 185-pounds.

His success at middleweight came under recent scrutiny when it was revealed that the 36-year-old Brazilian uses testosterone replacement therapy.

Athletes can request a therapeutic use exemption to use TRT, but what makes Belfort’s use more controversial than others who have been granted the exemption is that he tested positive to the banned substance 4-Hydroxytestosterone in 2006.

Having a previous positive test would rule out a therapeutic exemption by some athletic commissions, but he’s able to use TRT in his home country of Brazil.

Belfort asserts that he isn’t doing anything illegal.

“I don’t have much to talk about it.  It’s the rules.  I’m following the rules and it’s fight time.  TRT doesn’t win fights.  A lot of guys on TRT are losing fights,” he said during the UFC on FX 8 pre-fight press conference on Thursday.  “It’s hard work.  People that know me know how hard I work, and I’m just following the rules and doing everything legal.”

His UFC on FX 8 opponent, former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold, doesn’t agree with the use of TRT by any athlete, and definitely not by Belfort. But he’s stated that TRT isn’t an issue and he knew about Belfort’s use of it well before signing the bout agreement.

The topic has been brought up so often that Belfort has refused to field questions on the issue and says he’s just focused on the fight at hand.

“I’m focused on winning,” he said.  “I definitely know I’m ready and focused on this fight.”

Rockhold says he’s done his homework on Belfort and knows what to expect when the Octagon door closes behind them on Saturday, but Belfort believes he has changed his fighting style and is ever evolving, making it difficult to know what to expect.

“Those who have known me for a long time and see me today have no idea about what I have changed,” said Belfort.  “It’s as the bible says, a thousand years is as if it were a day.  If you give me one day to improve, I’ll do that.  What’s important in life is to grow, to be humble.

“We never really know what we can learn.  We never know what we can’t learn, so I believe it has to be like a silent storm.  That’s what a fight is. Right when we are in there, that’s when we will decide things,” he added.

“I’m ready and I’ve done everything that I can.  Now I’ve crushed all the grapes and now I just need to drink the wine.”

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  • Maddawgmar

    Just ask Chael Sonnen.

  • Madmmax

    If Rockhold wins, it’s a win and the TRT won’t matter, and he gets a tittle shot. If Belfort KO’s him in first round, it’s because of the TRT. Lose Lose for Belfort either way. Rockhold signed the fight knowing full well about the TRT. Stop with the excuses before the fight. It is what it is.


      If Belfort KO’s Rockhold, he’s fighting Anderson Silva or Chris Weidman next!

      • Madmmax

        That’s what should happen. But I’m not sure that’s what the UFC and Anderson wants

  • Baller31

    Seems like Rockhold is already preparing excuses for when he gets KTFO!

  • Sir_Roy

    Look at Vitor at 19 years old. The kid (he was a kid at the time) was beastly. He obviously abused performance enhancement drugs in his younger years and is paying the price today. He now medically requires the therapy to sustain and maintain. Should he be permitted to compete with the treatment in place seeing as it’s his abuse that created the defunct in the first place? Open to debate.

    I guess I’m a little less “crime and punishment” oriented than the average American. I don’t see the need to perpetually force a man to pay for the crimes of his youth. We were all young and stupid once upon a time (many so-called ‘adults’ still are). People change, grow, evolve … if we let them. If we’re too focused on ‘punishment’ and negativity, then we rob them of the chance.

    Vitor’s a pioneer of the sport and a highly entertaining fighter. Let’s leave him his chance to end his career in the sport he helped create and let the past remain in the past. If his testosterone levels are where they should be on fight day, then let him compete.

    • R

      Be careful, people might start calling you a socialist… lol.

    • Scotty_O

      Wether you agree or disagree, that was very well said!

    • El Gvapo

      A fair point well made. My only issue is that, whilst I agree that we all make mistakes when young etc, Vitor’s actions set precedent. Where’s the deterrent for young fighters not to juice? They see that Vitor essentially continued his career at top level despite his steroid abuse and they think they can do the same. If Vitor got away with it, why shouldn’t they?

    • Daniel

      Well said, although not everyone who has low levels actually used/abused other PED’s. As long as his levels are in the normal range for a man his age I say let it roll.

  • kakan

    36 and on TRT? I´m not into fighting really but watch some fights when my son put one on form time to time. I am a pediatrician though and this kinda chock me I have to admit, in my world we suspect cheating when a 36 year old on TRT, you fight fans can discuss the rest.

    • kakan

      sorry about misspelling guys, doctors syndrome, lol

      • Matty

        Sorry I highly doubt you have a college degree. Your grammar is horrible and you can’t put together a coherent sentence. Why are you even commenting if you’re not a mma fan. Doctors syndrome my ass!

        • kakan

          Sorry my friend, forgot I need to be born in America to have any degree at all. USA, USA, USA , roflol

        • Sir_Roy

          kakan makes a valid point. Perfect English is not a prerequisite to holding a degree. There exist 5000 – 6000 languages in the world today and over 200 languages with over one million native speakers. Point being, an education allowing kakan to be a practicing pediatrician can be had in many different countries and in many different languages.

          That said, kakan, no one is arguing whether or not Vitor abused performance enhancing substances to get to the point where, at 36 years old, he needs TRT treatment to sustain. It’s public knowledge that he has, he was busted for it and suspended for it. The question now is, should he be permitted to compete on the TRT therapy considering its his abuse that got him there in the first place.

  • ned sto

    Busted for TRT in 2006? 7 yrs ago, when Vitor was 29! And I’m guessing it wasn’t just a little over either, since even the level of tolerance seems to be a great deal higher than it should be, imo.
    Let’s see. TRT does indeed win fights if it allows you to train harder, recover faster, and be more ‘jacked’ up during the fight than you normally would without it.
    His claim of ‘not doing anything illegal’ is a pathetic excuse. It’s only legal if he is in Brazil apparently.
    Skirting the edges of the rules to cheat, is cheating.
    The bible quote was also improperly used out of context, in fact, he failed to make any sense with it. Is he trying to tell us that one day of training for him is like a thousand years of improvement?
    As a man of God, I would expect him to put his faith in the Lord and compete with the God given abilities he has. This guy is a charlatan 100%. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. A big fat liar through and through. Maybe instead of giving God all the glory, he should reference his doctor for his medicinally enhanced abilities.
    A legitimate reason to be on TRT since 29? my hairy backside. I’ll never believe that.
    Before I just wanted Rockhold to win, nothing against Vitor, but now, I want to see Vitor lose. Because that’s what he is

    • Roi

      He didn’t get busted for TRT in 2006. That was an positive test for a banned substance. Please get your facts right or at least read the article before commenting on it.

      • ned sto

        Athletes can request a therapeutic use exemption to use TRT, but what makes Belfort’s use more controversial than others who have been granted the exemption is that he tested positive to the banned substance 4-Hydroxytestosterone in 2006.

        I read the article. The above is where I got my facts. Admittedly I don’t know what 4-Hydorxytestosterone is, but from the context clues that paragraph provides and the fact that word ‘testosterone’ seems to be the root in 4-Hydroxytestosterone what’s the difference?
        And what’s your point? I don’t see you having any valid argument here.


    Belfort looked years younger than Rockhold

    • Sir_Roy

      No. No he really didn’t.