The past 24 hours of so have been wild ones for UFC middleweight contender Vitor Belfort.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission rocked the fight community on Thursday, when they unanimously voted to approve the ban of testosterone replacement therapy—a move that was supported by the UFC.
Early this morning, FOX Sports 1 broke the news that Belfort had elected to withdraw from his scheduled UFC 173 title bout with Chris Weidman and would instead be replaced by fellow Brazilian countryman, Lyoto Machida.
Making the situation all the more confusing is that, this morning, Belfort alleged that he never said he was voluntarily withdrawing from the championship bout. The UFC pulled him from the bout, and he expects to now fight the winner of Weidman vs. Machida, per MMA Fighting.
Many speculated that "The Phenom" failed his pre-fight drug test conducted by the NSAC, which was administered on February 7, with the results expected to be released in short order.
However, MMA Fighting has the latest, reporting that, since Belfort did not have a pending fight license application for the commission, he is the only person who has the authority to release the drug test results publicly.
Here's what we know: the results of that test are in. They came in earlier this week. Belfort and his team knows them, the commission knows them, the UFC knows them. However, because he was tested prior to submitting an application for licensure in Nevada, and did not provide consent outside of the application to release the results, the commission is not at liberty to release the results. They would have already if Belfort had submitted his application for a license to fight in Nevada on May 24 against Weidman. The UFC is also not required to release the results and have not, thus far.
Reporter Ariel Helwani also noted that a public record request was submitted to the NSAC, which chairman Francisco Aguilar responded to by saying that he could not legally honor the request, for the aforementioned reason.
Belfort has not fought on American soil since August 2011 and has compiled a 4-1 record since then. He currently boasts a three-fight win streak, all of which came via knockout.
The Brazilian slugger was expected to have an issue getting licensed by the NSAC, since he failed a post-fight drug test in October 2006 for the anabolic steroid 4-hydroxytestosterone, per MMA Weekly.