Vitor Belfort Will Fight at UFC 173 in Vegas Even if TUE Denied… or “That Would Be a Problem”

February 16, 2014
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Vitor Belfort at UFC 126Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort are scheduled to fight for the middleweight championship belt at UFC 173 on Mary 24 in Las Vegas.

Belfort, of course, has been one of the most central figures in the debate about the legal usage of testosterone replacement therapy by mixed martial artists. That doesn’t change with UFC 173, as UFC president Dana White said recently that Belfort will fight Weidman on May 24 whether or not the fighter is granted a therapeutic use exemption by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

If he isn’t granted and exemption and subsequently backed out of the fight “that would be a problem,” said White.

Belfort has been granted TUEs for his most recent fights, the last three of which have been in Brazil. It isn’t a given, however, that he’ll get one in Nevada.

The Nevada commission is reluctant to issue a TUE to an athlete that has tested positive for performance enhancing drugs in the past, and Belfort is such an athlete.

Belfort tested positive for 4-Hydroxytestosertone, an anabolic steroid, following a loss to Dan Henderson at Pride 32 in Las Vegas in 2006. He was fined $10,000 and suspended for nine months for the infraction.

The commission won’t make a determination about Belfort’s TUE status until they review his application for a license to fight Weidman.

Dr. Timothy Trainor, who is a consulting physician to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, on an episode of ESPN’s Outside the Lines series, was adamant that Belfort would not get an exemption if he had tested positive for steroids in the past.

“If we know for sure he has used steroids in the past, it is going to get denied,” he said. “We’re not going to give people a free pass because they admitted they used steroids in the past.”

Commission chairman Francisco Aguilar, however, said that Belfort’s past positive for PEDs didn’t immediately disqualify him from a future TUE and that the full commission would review his application for licensure and make the final determination.

If Belfort is not granted a TUE exemption in Nevada, White still expects him to fight Weidman on May 24 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

“That would be a problem if he turned it down if he doesn’t get the exemption,” White told a small gathering of reporters on Thursday in Las Vegas.

“The government is gonna come in and tell Vitor Belfort what he can and can’t do. And if they say he can’t [use TRT], then he [expletive] can’t. And he’s gonna fight in Vegas and he’s gonna fight Chris Weidman. Period.”

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  • Jason Hunt

    It’s time to get rid of TRT in MMA. It’s getting so damn ridiculous!

    • Mihael Hajdin

      Agree, no room for cheaters in the sport especially athletes in their prime, why dont people dont understand that, its not like that vitor is 70 years old and needs that s***..That being said I think vitor is f***ed without TRT..

    • Milosc

      TRT is made to seem ridiculous because it’s being reported about on an almost daily basis

      The issue, itself, is pretty basic (which I liken to a diabetic athlete being permitted to keep his insulin at healthy levels)

      I believe it’s the manipulative repetition, hearing each and every retributive philosophical stance about peripheral issues, like steroid abuse, that is annoying you

      • Maddawgmar

        Your comparing apples and oranges. A diabetic will die without insulin to regulate blood sugar. A person with hypogonadism will not die with out TRT. And if they caused that disorder because of Steroid use, then they should not be allowed an exemption. And since it is just about impossible to say it wasn’t because of steroids (since he has a history of use), then there should be no way he gets an exemption. IMO.

        • natpaukar7

          perfect comment! agree 100%

        • Very well put. I Agree 100%

        • Milosc

          A person with hypothyroidism won’t necessarily die without their hormone medicine, would you like to compete without it?

          Again: I feel the larger issue is continually overshadowed by peripheral knee-jerk elements (like doling justice on guys who used steroids). There are people with legitimate medical problems that would be putting up with major distractions if not taking their medication and that doesn’t strike me as fair, either

          • Jacob K

            If you had a disease or condition based on prior illegal recreational drug use, say nasal issues due to cocaine and other nasally ingested drugs, should we feel sorry for them? What if this person is also some kind of pro athlete. Should we allow them technology and medicine to overcome their own prior idiocy? No, sorry.

          • Milosc

            That’s my point, really. It isn’t about “feeling” sorry, or any other emotions/peripheral philosophical crusades. It’s about ‘now’

            If a person has an “existing medical condition”; whether they got it from drug abuse or witchcraft; that person needs to take their medication. As long as there is no physical advantage, nothing the opponent does not have, I don’t see a problem

          • some dude 69

            the issue is that normal people test 1 to 1, TRT people are allowed to test 6 to 1

          • Jacob K

            But trt definitely does give a physical advantage.

          • Maddawgmar

            There are people with legitimate medical issues, and if there was a legitimate natural occurance then there should be an exemption issued. Example Bigfoot Silva, he has a legitamate claim for TRT, since he suffers from Acromegaly, which is proven to reduce testosterone production, he can claim an exemption, however after he abused it he may no longer get that exemption. Since Vitor has been caught in the past for steroids, it can’t be ruled out that it was the cause, thus an exemption should be denied. That is my personal belief. Not the banning of the substance, but the stopping of abuser and prior cheater from obtaining an exemption.

          • Milosc

            This seems about retribution for you

            I’m talking about people with medical conditions, who would otherwise be debilitated with some glandular disease going through symptoms day and night, being able to medicate themselves to an even playing field

            Whether someone got their medical condition from shooting heroin or praising Jesus isn’t any of my business. If they have it, they have it

          • Maddawgmar

            It’s not retribution for me, it’s about consequences for your actions. I’ll go extreme and say if a man is convicted of murder and serves his time, he will never legally be able to possess a gun. So if a fighter was caught cheating with steroids or TRT for that matter then he shouldn’t be able to legally use enhancers to perform. I’m not saying just Vitor, but Chael and Bigfoot shouldn’t be allowed either because they abused their exemption.

          • Marcus Miles

            I would argue bigfoots exemption for TRT. They say he produces less testosterone because of his failing adrenal cortex and removal, but only a small small small percent of testosterone is secreted from the Adrenal Cortex. The big lump sum of testosterone that is secreted is from your testis. If A person has their Adrenal Cortex removed, they have things change because three different hormones are produced there (three layers to the gland, each secreting a different hormone), but its not like a person will loose facial hair and muscle mass as if someone had their testis removed. Its a loop hole he uses to get it.

      • Wolf Ticket

        So what happens if a healthy guy takes some extra insulin? How many pushups more can he make? Dude, that was a pretty lame argument…

      • Marcus Miles

        the thing is, if your body is not making insulin, that means your a diabetic, type 1. It is also a life threatening condition and not a natural occurrence but a physiological problem. However, it is natural to loose testosterone production as you get older and it is not life threatening such as diabetes. Vitor doesn’t need TRT, he wants it. Loosing testosterone 5% every year from age 30 and forward is part of being a man. Vitor can deal with or he can’t, but in no way shape or form does he need this stuff. A diabetic however needs insulin to sustain a normal life. I personally don’t care if he has it or doesn’t because vitor is vitor, he will either show up or he won’t. TRT wont make him a better fighter. I just wanted to clear the air due to you comparing testosterone to insulin.

        • Fern

          Vitor needs TRT in order to stay healthy and not have organ failure in the future.
          Because he abused steroids in the past, his hormone synthesizing organs no longer function normaly and do not produce the proper levels of many hormones (not just T) essential for healthy living.
          There are perhaps other fighters out there that WANT TRT instead of really needing it, but I would bet that most fighters on TRT actually need it now since they abused steroids in the past and consequently did permanent damage to their entire endocrine system.

  • Piotr

    Mary 24? Is this a new month?

  • tmeultraman

    They should hold sonnen to the same policy then f***ing hypocrites

    • some dude

      Why? He’s American! It doesn’t work to hold us to the same standards.

      • some dude

        USA! USA! USA!

    • Maddawgmar

      Did Sonnen get caught for using Steroids? I don’t recall. His may be a claim that commissions can’t logically dispute. However since he abused his TRT before, I think he should be either denied or strenuously monitered.

  • Wolf Ticket

    The last paragraph is ridiculous. Government does not tell people whether or not they should be on TRT, it’s a medical decision. If Vitor needs it, and is not permitted to use it for professional fighting, he should simply retire. Or if he’s not permitted, is he healthy all of a sudden and does not need the “therapy” any more?

    • Maddawgmar

      But the government can tell a fighter whether or not they can use for a fight. Athletic commission’s are part of the state government. So they can tell him that he can’t use, and if he doesn’t comply they won’t let him fight in their state.

      • Fern

        I’m a bit confused. Why doesn’t Vitor just keep taking his TRT and just not tell anyone. If he’s taking the correct dosage, his T levels will always come up in allowed range.
        Am I missing something here?

        • Maddawgmar

          Not sure how the dosages effect levels on any given time. I’m not a doctor, all I know is from articles on certain medical journals online. Theoretically it sounds like it could work, however I imagine it’s like how insulin effects blood sugar, you never know where your number would lie after a shot. Your guess is as good as mine on that bud.

  • TheCerealKiller

    What happens if he doesn’t get it and still wins? Will Dana then only have him fight outside the US? I like Vitor, but I hate TRT.

  • brad king

    We need Victor with roids or not, to tame that Weidman


    I say let everyone use TRT if that’s what it takes to see great fights !!!

    • Twizz Nizzle

      Anything in moderation is ok

      • TheCerealKiller

        Yep, heroin is OK in moderation.

        • Twizz Nizzle

          Why do u think itv was medicine back in 1800s

          • Jacob K

            Steroids can be used as medicine they just don’t have any place as athletic enhancers

    • Jacob K


      That’s like saying, let’s let football players play without helmets cause it will make it more exciting.

      Let’s make a sport many times less safe to be a competitor in, it will make it more fun to watch! That is messed up bro.

      • L

        Ummm, maybe players would stop using their bodies as projectiles, if they didn’t have helmets on? Not immediately, of course, as they have been coached for years to do so…

        Just look at rugby. You don’t see people flinging themselves headfirst to tackle a guy. Instead they wrap him up.

        I say let athletes use T and HGH. You can’t stop them, and 90% of pros are already using (by my estimation).

        • Jacob K

          A recent interview with steroid kingpin victor conte estimates about half of the UFC using peds.

          Think about what you are saying. Everyone’s cheating so let them all cheat. This only creates an arms race for the best juice. Guys will be destroying their bodies (more than they already do) just to get the leg up. Instead of fighter careers extending, legalizing peds will in fact shorten careers through increased instances of major brain damage and body degradation, hypergonadism, hyperthyroidism, etc. the list of negatives is massive and the list of positives is : more exciting fights. Not worth it. Plus how will this sport ever gain mainstream traction with this policy. You wanna see UFC in Madison square garden? No peds. Clean sport.

          • L

            So your solution is the status quo? Tell fighters its illegal, tell some fighters they get an exemption, and everyone tries to ‘arms race for the best juice’ any way, except now what is most important is undetectability, whereas if it was legal, safety and efficiency would be what is most important, in this ‘arms race for the best juice’.

            IDGAF about MMA in NY.

          • Jacob K

            No. Not at all what I’m saying bro. I’m saying completely 100 percent clean sport. No TUEs for peds. Rigorous multiple-agency testing implemented by the UFC itself regardless of athletic commission regulations. Follow those then go above and beyond those so that every single fighter has no peds in their bodies at any time. Also do not test for weed during these constant and random tests. When you sign a UFC contract, they hand you a cup and point to the restrooms. And every two weeks you test. Hell every week.
            People say there’s no way to stop everyone from cheating so just make cheating legal and regulate it. No. You cheat, go fight in bellator. We don’t care.

  • keiko

    Now their gonna who can be on try and who can’t? Sounds like Chris Weidman is scared vitor and other fights in the ufc his age use to be at level the older you your levels drop Weidman is not the man Silva broke his leg and Weidman is taking credit for that like he meant to do that that s*** is lame they know Belfort will win and not just win but knock him out but him on his highlight wheel this s*** is week

    • Jacob K

      Post comment facts: 1 question mark, 0 periods.


      • Rence

        I think it is even more confusing due to not just the misspelled words, but with the lack of punctuation and the fact that it seems he just left some words out. I cannot be the only one who read that and left just plain confused? Also possibly a few IQ points dumber for having read it?

  • Lee

    I said this before and I’ll say it again. If you need TRT then just retire

    • Adam

      No one should use creatine no one should use any pre workout the induces high preformence levels or concentrated protien or any thing man made. They should use natural food. If you want to get tecinquol everyone uses some kind of ped

  • L

    Vitor is going to look so weak without his doses of T. Gas quickly, too. At least the fight will start with a bang, as Vitor will know his chance to win is early in the fight.

  • bvol

    Victor is on full blown cycles of steroids as well as trt. Im going to say that Vitor will get “injured” and pull out of this fight and his next fight will not be in the u.s.a.

    • Rence

      Seeing what dana said, sounds like if he does get “injured” and pulls out of the fight, his next fight may not be in the UFC much less the USA.

      • Fern

        Yes, because we all know Dana always sticks to his word..

        • Rence

          whens the last time Matt Riddel, Paul Daley, or Babalu fought for the ufc? So, youre not incorrect in your insinuation but when he boots a guy, its kind of rare they come back. Not unheard of, but rare. So does he ALWAYS stick to his word? no, but it does happen

  • teddy

    simple solution Dana White.
    place trt on the ufc banned substance list and include in their contract is you use trt your contract will be void , along with prefight , post fight and periodical testing through training camp.

  • Dragon Kid

    All I’m interested in is watching Vitor crush Weidman on Fight Night. Nothing else matters!

    • Dragon Kid

      roids don’t mean nothing. u win some and u lose some. It’s how u perform.

      • Dragon Kid

        Bla bla bla… Don’t care. I just watch the fights for their skills. I don’t pay attention to politics!

        • Dragon Kid

          Politics/science, same sh#t. Don’t care.

          • Durrrrrrrrrr

            Dumbest man alive^^

          • Dragon Kid

            Blah blah blah, go tell ur story walking loser.

          • Dragon Kid


  • Jacob K

    I just hate that I even give a s*** what’s in these fighters’ urine streams. Never as a sports fan did I ever think I would care this much about an athlete’s piss. What the f***. It’s not who’s gym they are training with (blackzilians and longo), what skills they are focusing on, their mental prep, etc. it’s what drugs is vitor taking. get this s*** out of this sport now.