During an appearance on "The MMA Hour" earlier this week, Vitor Belfort's manager, Glenn Robinson, revealed he didn't think "The Phenom" would apply for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for testosterone prior to his next fight, which is expected to be against Middleweight champion, Chris Weidman, later this year in Las Vegas, Nevada.
That's seemingly no longer the case.
According to a report on this latest edition of FOX Sports 1's "UFC Tonight," Belfort told Ariel Helwani that he would, in fact, ask the newly-Executive Director-less Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for the right to use testosterone. That's because the Brazilian is in the midst of treatment and, in the opinion of his health professional, it's in his best interests to continue the regimen.
The topic of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) and Belfort fighting in Nevada has been a controversial issue since the former champion failed a screening because of banned substances prior to a bout against Dan Henderson under the Pride FC banner in "Sin City" in Oct. 2006.
The 36-year-old was suspended for the positive test and has not been back to the combat sports capital of the world since losing to Anderson Silva in 2011, at which time he did not apply for a TUE. Since that loss, Belfort is arguably the hottest Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter, having gone 7-1 and winning multiple times in spectacular fashion.
However, Belfort has primary run roughshod over the stiff competition in Brazil, which is more or less immune to the political pressures that would exist in Nevada. Indeed, Belfort would have to cut through a lot of red tape, as well as likely pass several out-of-competition tests, to get the "all clear" signal from NSAC executives.
Nonetheless, despite the uncertainty, UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta has gone on the record to say the promotion hopes to stage the 185-pound championship showdown on Fourth of July weekend, while "All American" is pushing for a Memorial Day duel pending the outcome of a recent MRI on his knee.