Vitor Belfort has made it known that he intends to apply for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) prior to his middleweight title fight against Chris Weidman, which will go down at UFC 173 in Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 24, 2014.
In an interview with ESPN.com, Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) Chairman Francisco Aguilar made it clear that the state's governing body will be discussing its current TUE policy at its regularly-scheduled meeting in "Sin City" on Feb. 27, 2014.
"It's the commission's need and desire to get clarity on the issue before we go into a situation where we have to make a decision immediately. It's not fair to have that discussion while someone is in front of you. It's important to have a basis of where you find yourself as a commissioner prior to that -- having all the information you need from the experts."
The decision to discuss the medical procedure stems from "The Phenom's" unique situation in Nevada, a state where the former PRIDE FC standout tested positive for steroids after losing to Dan Henderson back in 2006.
Whether Belfort is given the go-ahead is yet to be seen, but it's worth noting that former NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer "didn't see Belfort getting an exemption."
According to the interview, Aguilar claims it's possible that no mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter will receive a TRT exemption going forward, leaving the door open for the commission to get rid of the process altogether.
"A commissioner can always make a motion towards that idea," Aguilar explained. "I'm not sure if that will happen, but it's always a possibility."
But first, NSAC plans on learning as much as possible about the controversial medical procedure. The meeting in February will provide board members with information on situations where TRT can be a valuable asset for a patient.
"My initial questions are broad, obviously concerning the purpose of TRT and TUEs. Once we understand the purpose and the intent, we can drill deeper into the follow-up questions, such as when you can determine they are necessary. It's always important to have a medical perspective."
This is common in regards to the topic, as many don't seem to recognize how effective TRT use can be.
But the proof is in the proverbial pudding. Look no further than the 36-year-old Belfort, who is arguably the hottest UFC fighter in the game today, having gone 5-1 and winning multiple fights in spectacular fashion since his loss to Anderson Silva in early 2011.
So, what's the endgame?
Either Belfort ends up fighting Weidman in Las Vegas, or the two tango in Brazil where Belfort has set up shop for the latter part of his career. Until we hear otherwise, the contracts are signed for UFC 173 and TRT should not be an issue for the surging Brazilian. After all, TRT is still legal (unlike this popular drug).
At least for now.