If you were anticipating problems for Vitor Belfort getting licensed to fight in Nevada, you may want to re-evaluate your position. UFC President Dana White appears convinced that the Brazilian will stroll through the licensing process.
In an interview with Sherdog.com, White restated his belief that “The Phenom” doesn’t deserve the scrutiny he has been subjected to by both fans and media:
“[Testosterone Replacement Therapy] is legal. He follows the rules and he does everything the way that he’s supposed to… You can say what you want about TRT, because I’m not a fan either, but TRT doesn’t make you kick better. It doesn’t make you do all the things he’s doing better, better. It makes you train better.”
One could certainly make a solid argument against the latter point. After all, it is through training that Vitor has learned how to “kick better” and “do all the things he’s doing better, better.”
Additionally, the UFC president claimed that Belfort’s situation is no different to that of Josh Barnett, or any other fighter who has been popped for steroid use in the past:
“Vitor will have to go before the commission, not because of his TRT, but because of his former steroid use. Just like any other guy would. In the Travis Browne-Josh Barnett fight, they even made Travis Browne do the drug testing. It’s no different to what any other guy would go through.”
Of course, the obvious difference between Belfort and Barnett is that the latter, as far as we know, hasn’t applied for a therapeutic use exemption for TRT. This distinction has been highlighted to White in the past, but he doesn’t appear to have been persuaded by it.
In the same interview, the UFC president also confirmed that Weidman vs. Belfort will indeed take place in Nevada, despite persistent rumours that the event would be held in Brazil.