ViTRTor BelforTRT lives.
The oft-criticized and maligned middleweight Vitor Belfort is expected to take on champion Chris Weidman later this year in Las Vegas, and a recent report from MMAFighting.com indicates that the Brazilian will apply for a testosterone therapeutic use exemption (TUE) ahead of the bout.
Ariel Helwani broke the report via Twitter:
Contrary to what Glenn Robinson told me this week, Vitor Belfort told me he will apply for a TRT TUE because he needs it for medical reasons— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 23, 2014
This directly conflicts with an earlier report from Belfort's manager, Glenn Robinson.
Speaking on The MMA Hour to Helwani, Robinson said:
"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."
This looked good for Belfort.
After Weidman called out Belfort's rocky past with steroid abuse, the apparent decision to forgo testosterone replacement therapy before the upcoming title fight reflected well on Belfort and his management team.
Despite the fact that it makes no sense if Belfort truly needed the testosterone boost—a diabetic cannot simply stop taking insulin, after all—it still looked like the right decision at the time, and it would have removed a potentially damaging and distracting storyline leading up to the clash of top middleweights.
Now, however, Belfort announced he will indeed apply for a testosterone therapeutic use exemption, so feel free to re-ignite the controversy train and discuss how Belfort is or is not the same fighter without his prescription.
Whether or not Belfort will be approved for this TUE remains to be seen.
According to Dave Meltzer, Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) Executive Director Keith Kizer previously said that athletes with a history of steroid abuse (like Belfort) would not be granted TUEs.
However, Kizer recently announced his resignation, and how his successor views this issue will determine whether or not Belfort's wish is granted.
Stay tuned as the situation develops.