Vitor Belfort is stuck in the crosshairs of controversy surrounding his use of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), but it doesn't mean he won't get the next shot at the UFC middleweight title.
Last weekend, Belfort knocked out former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold with a spectacular spinning heel kick, which marked his second head kick finish in a row. The previous knockout was over top-five middleweight Michael Bisping, and it put Belfort back at the top of the division where he remains undefeated at 185 pounds outside of a lone loss to champion Anderson Silva.
The discussion surrounding Belfort's next fight hasn't started yet, but UFC President Dana White didn't rule out the possibility of a title shot against the winner of Silva and current top contender Chris Weidman at UFC 162.
"There's no plans right now with Vitor. He just fought so we'll see what happens. It would make sense for those two (Silva and Weidman) to fight and that's not far away, and then those two fight or Vitor could fight again," White said when speaking to the media on Thursday. "He could fight either one of those guys."
The biggest question that continues to swirl around Belfort's involvement in a potential title fight is his continued use of TRT. While the treatment is not illegal by any means, Belfort's 2006 suspension after testing positive for steroids still haunts the middleweight contender.
For Belfort to continue on his TRT treatments he must receive a therapeutic use exemption from whatever state commission his fight is taking place in, and because of his past steroid trouble it could cause an issue.
"Vitor doesn't want this, he's aggravated and pissed off about this stuff. He doesn't want his name to be smeared," White said about Belfort's TRT usage. "I don't like TRT, I'm not a fan of it, I don't like it at all. I said a while ago these guys are going to be tested and Vitor was tested. Vitor followed the rules and did what he was supposed to do."
As far as a location for the fight, White doesn't see Belfort having any trouble receiving his fight license, but a use exemption for TRT is another story all together. White leaves that up to the commissions, but promises that the UFC isn't putting Belfort in places like Brazil where he is allowed to use TRT just so he can continue to fight while using the treatment.
"That's up to them. They'll have to do a hearing or however they want to do it," White said about Belfort being approved by another commission. "We're not keeping Vitor out of fighting from anywhere. We had Vitor fight in Brazil because Vitor sells out in Brazil. It's all a bunch of conspiracy, f—king crock of s—t."
Whether or not Belfort sits out to face the winner of Silva vs. Weidman remains to be seen. Depending on who wins that fight and what kind of time off they will require after the early-July title bout could determine Belfort's next course of action.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained first hand unless otherwise noted.
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