UFC middleweight contender Vitor Belfort is getting anxious for his crack at championship gold, but he has a long road ahead of him before that happens, according to UFC President Dana White.
At the UFC 172 post-fight media scrum, White explained that despite the fact that The Phenom was asking for Lyoto Machida's crack at Chris Weidman earlier in the week, the request is completely unrealistic since he's a long way from getting licensed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, per Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com:
He's gotta solve his problems with the Nevada State Athletic Commission and when he does that, we'll figure it out ... He's got a lot of work to do. That s--t just doesn't happen like that. You gotta get on the agenda. He's got a lot of work to do. He's fooling himself if that's what he really thinks, he took a couple of home tests and he's ready to roll. Or whatever he did.
White also joked that the Brazilian slugger is "always fun" and "hilarious" when speaking about the situation.
Belfort was originally scheduled to square off with Weidman at UFC 173 on May 24, which takes place in Las Vegas, but he was replaced by Machida following the NSAC's ban of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). That bout has since been pushed back to UFC 175 on July 5 after The All-American suffered a knee injury that required minor surgery, via UFC.com.
The 37-year-old Belfort has remained a hot topic of criticism in the fight community since he failed a drug test for the anabolic steroid 4-Hydroxytestosterone back in October 2006, yet he has been an open TRT user in recent years.
He has also refused to release the results of his February 7 drug test, and since he was not licensed by the NSAC at the time, he is the only one who has the power to do so, according to Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com.
The knockout specialist, who scored three straight KOs over Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold and Dan Henderson, hasn't fought on American soil since he made short work of Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 133 in August 2011.
Belfort, the No. 2 middleweight in the UFC's official rankings, has been on the sidelines since his November victory over Hendo and is still awaiting his next assignment in the Octagon.
Will Belfort fight for UFC gold before the end of the year, or will his road back to the cage prove to be a lot more difficult than he initially thought?