Fight fans have been wondering since August 2011 as to whether or not top UFC middleweight contender Vitor Belfort will be able to get a testosterone replacement therapy usage exemption in the United States.
Even though "The Phenom" next challenges champion Chris Weidman for the belt at a date to be determined in the middle of the year, his manager stated on The MMA Hour, per MMA Mania, that TRT may not be in the equation for this fight.
"I don't believe so," Glenn Robinson told Ariel Helwani when asked if Belfort would apply for a TRT exemption in the United States. "It's something that him and I have not discussed. He trains with us, but most of his, because he's been in the game for so long, everything for him is pretty well set. So Joana (Belfort's wife) does most of his day-to-day stuff. And it's nothing that they've talked to me about. I don't think they will (file for a TUE) to be honest with you, but it's nothing they've talked to me about so I really couldn't answer you straight."
Belfort, the No. 2 middleweight in the world according to the UFC's official rankings, is currently riding a three-fight win streak (all knockouts) over top-tier competition in Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold and Dan Henderson.
Furthermore, the heavy-handed Brazilian slugger is 4-1 on his current two-year run, competing in either Canada or Brazil—the only loss coming in a short-notice light heavyweight title against Jon Jones at UFC 152 in September 2012.
His career resurgence, shredded physique and an October 2006 failed drug test for the anabolic steroid 4-hydroxytestosterone, per MMA Weekly, have led many pundits to question the legitimacy of Belfort's controversial hormone treatment.
Right or wrong, it is tough to argue that the 17-year fight veteran has done everything he should have to in order to get another shot at UFC gold.
Weidman, who is a perfect 11-0 as a professional mixed martial artist, last defeated Anderson Silva at UFC 168, winning by TKO when "The Spider" shattered his left leg on a checked leg kick.
Weidman vs. Belfort is tentatively set for Las Vegas, Nevada, in May, though the UFC has not officially announced the terms of the bout yet.