Late Thursday night when Vitor Belfort (pictured) “released a statement” on “Fox Sports Live,” he created more confusion than provided answers by voluntarily pulling out of his UFC 173 title fight against middleweight champion Chris Weidman following the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s unanimous vote to ban testosterone replacement therapy.
Most notably, he would withdraw from the May 24 bout because he could no longer take TRT, yet he will eliminate the controversial doctor-prescribed treatment from his regimen and continue fighting.
So, if you’re not going to take TRT anyway, why exit stage left from a championship affair you’ve been clamoring all the livelong day for – especially when there’s still 85 days until showtime, more than enough time to formulate a complete and thorough training camp?
Here’s Belfort’s original “statement”:
“The Nevada State Athletic Commission recently altered its policy and no longer will permit testosterone use exemptions, and will not permit a TRT program. As other jurisdictions may follow suit, I am going to drop my TRT program and compete in MMA without it.
Given the time constraints involved between now and my proposed next bout in May, I have determined not to apply for a license to fight in Nevada at this time.”
Well, as it turns out, Belfort claims he didn’t release that statement. The 36-year-old attempted to clear the air Friday morning with a Facebook post. It was written in Portuguese, so we’re assuming it came straight from the horse’s mouth.
According to “The Phenom,” he never wanted to withdraw from the Weidman fight. The UFC yanked him so he can get acclimated to life without TRT. However, he was told that he will meet the winner of Weidman-Lyoto Machida next.
This is what Belfort really had to say about the situation (via Google Translate):
“I never gave up fighting in UFC 173 and never mentioned it. Therefore, all information posted in any mass media advertising is not true. What I want to announce is that I will be resigning “TRT” and not “giving up the fight” to continue my dream of fighting.
The UFC decided to put another opponent in my place because I did not have time to fit the new rules of the NSAC. According to the UFC, I will face the winner of Weidman vs. Lyoto within the new regulations of all the athletic commissions. I’m sorry this happened, and I appreciate the strength and understanding of all fans, sponsors, UFC and athletic commissions.”
This story just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it? Or worse and worse, depending on who you are.