It was announced earlier this week that former UFC middleweight contender Vitor Belfort received "a therapy use exemption (TUE) for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT)" before his UFC on FX 7 bout against Michael Bisping.
Before the fight, Belfort didn't want to address his possible use of the controversial medical procedure, but following the event, it was revealed that he was approved for the usage.
Any fighter on TRT must have his testosterone levels tested. Those levels must stay within an acceptable range for the fighter to be able to compete while using that treatment.
Belfort's opponent, Michael Bisping, who lost the fight in the second round after a nasty head kick was delivered, now finds himself stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Bisping has been a strong opponent speaking out against the use of TRT and has now faced and been defeated by three opponents who all took the controversial treatment: Dan Henderson, Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort.
On Friday, Bisping released a statement via his personal website, Bisping.TV, that explained his reaction to the news that Belfort was using TRT for their fight in Brazil.
While he offered no excuses in terms of his losing the fight, Bisping was disappointed that Belfort was allowed to use the treatment after previously testing positive for banned substances.
As some of you may know, I’ve just got back to Orange County from filming a movie in England. There have been dozens and dozens of interview requests and tweets about the recent news. I’m back in England next week for the UFC on FUEL show, and right now all I really want to do is see my family, especially my daughter, who turned just turned 10 (happy birthday, Elle!). So, I wanted to do a short statement here and then move on to my fight with Alan Belcher, April 27th at UFC 159.
Here’s what I’ve got to say. As I said right after the fight, I lost because I made a mistake and Vitor took advantage of it. It sucks. I don't like it, but that was the result. I lost. Bottom line.
Bisping did, however, speak to the point that Belfort was allowed to use TRT even after testing positive for 4-Hydroxytestosterone following his fight with Dan Henderson in Pride in 2006. At the time, Belfort had been suspended nine months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for the infraction.
Over the past couple years, and even right before the fight, I have made my views on TRT very, very clear. I don’t feel that I need to go into depth about it again right now. All I have to add, about this specific instance, is that it is very disappointing that someone who was caught cheating with testosterone in the past, now gets to use testosterone legally. A well known side effect of steroids is that it reduces testosterone, so I don't understand how it would make sense to then grant someone an exemption to then increase testosterone.
Regardless of his feelings on the use of TRT or Belfort's approval for the treatment, Bisping is moving on now and leaving this situation behind him. He's next scheduled to face Alan Belcher in the co-main event at UFC 159 in New Jersey and isn't focused on Vitor Belfort any longer.
All that being said, I am not here to make excuses or cry over spilled milk. I fight in the best organization in the world, the UFC, and am very excited to work and earn a title fight, the right way. That process starts by whooping Alan Belcher's ass at UFC 159 on Saturday, April 27th, live on PPV.
Bisping will take part in a question-and-answer session with fans Friday as part of the UFC on Fuel TV 9 weigh-ins from England. Outside of that, he's leaving the Vitor Belfort subject dead and buried as he turns his focus toward Alan Belcher and a climb back into middleweight contention.
Damon Martin is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report.