There is no questioning that Vitor Belfort is one of the best fighters on the UFC roster right now, so it makes sense a plethora of fans are calling for him to get the next middleweight title shot.
Of course, some pundits are asking: what about "The Phenom's" testosterone replacement therapy usage that he has yet to get an exemption for in the United States?
Speaking to ESPN on Friday prior to his spectacular headkick knockout of Dan Henderson at UFC Fight Night 32 this past weekend, Belfort explained he is no longer bothered by TRT critics since he knows he's doing nothing wrong or improper.
“The [TRT] critics are always going to be there,” Belfort said. “If you do it, they will say, ‘he cheated.’ What people don’t know is that we do good work. I was the only guy to do blood work. Now Dan Henderson has to go through blood work; it’s in our contract. All the fighters have to do blood work. With the blood work you can track if they [fighters] use testosterone. We know some guys do it; they do things to cheat. My lab work is right there. My levels are right there, every week ... “I’m not doing anything illegal. It’s a treatment. Actually, if I go without it I will be at a disadvantage. It will be like the other guy is on something and I’m not. If you have asthma you get treatment. If your have high blood pressure, you get treatment for it. This is my treatment. Everybody knows.”
Belfort also makes note that "I love fighting in America," also stating "I have just as many fans in America as I have in Brazil."
The hard-hitting Brazilian looks better than ever, in terms of both appearance and performance at 36 years old, which has raised some eyebrows about the legitimacy of his TRT usage.
Despite not fighting on American soil in over two years (five fights), the fact remains that the former UFC light heavyweight champ has not failed any drug tests and has now defeated three top contenders in a row via headkick knockout.
For those fans unaware, Belfort failed a post-fight drug test for elevated levels of testosterone after his first meeting with Henderson at Pride 32 in October 2006, per MMA Weekly.
For the time being, Belfort can sit back and relax as he awaits the winner of Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva II at UFC 168 on December 28, with it being pretty unlikely that any 185-pound contenders leapfrog him between now and then.
Is Belfort truly doing everything by the book when it comes to his TRT usage or is he just giving lip service to the media and fans with his explanation?