If Vitor Belfort wants to continue his mixed martial arts (MMA) career while receiving testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), he'll have to do it somewhere other than "Sin City," which just so happens to be home base of his employer, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
That's because "The Phenom" doesn't meet the requirements for the controversial treatment under the guidelines of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), which state that any fighter previously popped for steroid abuse -- which is a contributing factor to low testosterone later on in life -- is immediately disqualified.
NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer comments to Bleacher Report:
"I don't see Vitor Belfort getting a TRT exemption from us. I really don't and I feel kind of bad for him in some ways because if he has learned from his mistakes and now he's trying to do it the right way and his levels are low with the treatment, good for him and I hope he is doing that. The rules are the rules and you have to draw the line somewhere."
Belfort tested positive for 4-hydroxytestosterone following his unanimous decision loss to Dan Henderson at PRIDE 32 way back in 2006, when the Japanese-based fight promotion made its way to Las Vegas. He was suspended for nine months and fined $10,000 for the infraction.
Fast-forward six years and Belfort is competing on TRT.
The cat was out of the bag following his technical knockout (TKO) win over Michael Bisping at the UFC on FX 7 event earlier this year, which raised more than a few eyebrows. Not because of the TRT, which is also used by the aforementioned Henderson, as well as Chael Sonnen, Frank Mir and Forrest Griffin, among others, but rather because Belfort would not qualify in Nevada and has sought refuge across the border.
Any fight fans out there believe it should be up to the commission on how to approach the TRT debate? Or do we need a "one policy fits all" type of commitment to licensing?