Dan Henderson's jiu-jitsu coach has decided that if his fighter cannot use testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) for his bout at Ultimate Fight Night 32, then neither can his pending opponent, Vitor Belfort.
Ricardo Feliciano made his feelings on the matter clear, stating Belfort is essentially hiding in Brazil to avoid testing (h/t Tatame.com):
If Dan [Henderson] can't use [TRT], so won't Vitor! Vitor has already been caught in a doping exam and Dan hasn't! Dan has been using it for a long time and I think he won't have problems. I am sure Vitor won't come to [Las] Vegas because here he won't be permitted to use TRT as he has been using in fights in Brazil. That's why he only fights there.
Feliciano is the latest to take jabs at Belfort's TRT usage. Fans across the various internet boards and particular media outlets have been vocal about the Brazilian's apparent "hiding" in Brazil. Meanwhile, Dana White assures fans that there is no hiding going on and that Belfort can fight anywhere.
The statement from Feliciano is a tad ironic, given that Henderson himself was famously on the hormone therapy. However, Henderson has never failed a drug test and has discontinued his usage leading up to the UFC 161 bout versus Rashad Evans.
Belfort, on the other hand, failed his Pride Fighting Championship: The Real Deal drug test in 2006. The substance was 4-hydroxytestosterone, an anabolic steroid.
With the lines blurred regarding testosterone replacement therapy, Belfort has situated himself in a gray area when it comes to what is unfair supplementation. It is clear that the Henderson camp believes the advantage is unfair categorically and will thus begin lobbying for Belfort to be forced to fight in Vegas.
One thing to keep in mind, Belfort has to be aware that he only has so many chances with fans. First, Cage Potato reported he turned down a fight with Tim Kennedy in Brazil because he did not want to give up his top contender spot. Then, MMA Fighting reported that Rashad and Vitor were unwilling to fight one another, given that they are training partners at Blackzilian.
At some point, Vitor does have to fight if he wants to keep his contendership. A fight in Vegas against Henderson does make sense, but Belfort may be left wishing he took a bout that was much easier (on paper) in Kennedy in Brazil.