The UFC president talked to the media for his usual pre-fight media scrum, and when Belfort’s name came up, White carefully navigated through the questions. MMA Fighting has the video while Bloody Elbow provided the quotes.
White was initially asked if Belfort is getting a “bad rep” from MMA fans due to his secretive nature.
He's not though, I mean, he's not. I mean, when he showed up in Nevada, the thing that was bad about that is, he showed up and they're like, 'You're on testosterone?' 'Yeah, I'm on testosterone. I mean everybody knew it.' 'You shouldn't have come to Nevada until you were off it.’
If you’ll recall, Belfort was given a surprise test by the Nevada State Athletic Commission while attending the World MMA Awards back in February. Due to the timing of the test, the results were not made public and will not be made public unless Belfort himself chooses to do so.
Not only does Belfort’s attorney believe the results are irrelevant, so too does White.
It's absolutely irrelevant, because I'm telling you right now, we tested the shit out of him before every fight he fought. I told you guys, I don't remember at what point it was, I said 'Believe me, we're gonna put him through the ringer with the TRT thing.' And we did.
The fact that Belfort has refused to release the results has only fueled the speculation surrounding his usage of testosterone replacement therapy. The Brazilian has enjoyed a career renaissance since his UFC 126 loss to Anderson Silva, which, coincidentally, is around the time he started using TRT.
Since the loss to Silva, Belfort hasn’t lost at 185 pounds, and his only loss came against UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones.
It wasn’t the fact that Belfort was winning that raised a few eyeballs—it was in the way he won his fights. His last three fights have all ended by knockout, with all three winning Knockout of the Night awards.
There's no doubt about it that TRT...I mean that's what the stuff is designed to do. Stuff is designed to make a guy my age work like a guy Jon Jones' age. That's what TRT is for. And it worked, it definitely worked for Vitor.
And work it did. Just look at any number of side-by-side comparisons and it’s easy to see that Belfort is in perhaps the best shape of his life at 37 years of age.
Further adding speculation to the performance-enhancing drug discussion with Belfort is the fact that he’s competed primarily in Brazil, despite the fact White denies hiding him there.
White would continue his defense of Belfort and testing but only made the issue more problematic.
Here's the thing: Lets say he came in to Nevada and his levels were off the charts. He wasn't fighting. Came in here to talk about getting licensed and the thing was, 'Welcome to Nevada. You wanna be licensed here, you have to stop taking TRT.' As a guy who's not fighting, you can go around, do whatever the hell you want with TRT.
There are a number of ways fans could take that last line and run with it, but I’ll instead choose to focus on the timing of Belfort’s surprise test. Now as you can see, White has no issues with fighters doing whatever they want with TRT so long as they don’t have a fight coming up.
The only problem is, Belfort was tested on Feb. 7 and was still scheduled to fight at UFC 173. Belfort didn’t pull out of his UFC 173 contest with Chris Weidman until Feb. 28, the day after the NAC banned TRT use.
The bottom line is that all this talk of Belfort cheating and TRT abuse can all be put aside if Belfort released the results of his test. If he passed with flying colors, one would assume he’d want to prove it to the world.
Sure, he may not care what the average fan thinks, but it’s not only fans calling him out about TRT abuse.
If Belfort did pass his random test, it makes little sense for him to not reveal the results. He was and is still labeled a cheater by many MMA fans, and his secretive nature of those test results only allows those doubters to have a louder voice.
Fans and fighters will continue to speculate until the day Belfort either reveals those random test results or passes a test administered in the States.