When Vitor Belfort steps back inside the Octagon in early 2015 to face Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight titleholder, Chris Weidman, it will be more than a year-long gap in between fights for "The Phenom."
Perhaps more importantly, it will be the first time in a long time that the Brazilian bruiser will compete without being on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). And he has the state of Nevada to
blame thank for that.
So why is that important?
Well, according to one of Vitor's old foes, Michael Bisping, that means the mixed martial arts (MMA) world won't see the same physical specimen that has been wreaking havoc in the 185-pound weight class these last few years.
"Vitor is the No. 1 contender. What were my feelings when he got put back [in that spot]? My feelings were this: That is a huge benefit for Chris Weidman, simply because Vitor was on testosterone replacement therapy for a long time, and that does have an impact on your body and the amount of muscle you carry. The longer you are off the testosterone you were prescribed to take by a doctor, the more physical changes your body will make. But we could be talking over a year when he hasn't been on the prescriptions he was before. I think the longer it goes before that fight happens, the more Chris Weidman will benefit. Vitor's gonna be weaker, slower, not as strong."
It looks like Weidman might get that stoppage victory, after all.
One of stipulations the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) implemented before agreeing to grant "The Phenom" a license to fight was that his first fight back post-TRT had to be in the state of Nevada.
But, it seems that may no longer be that case, as the much-anticipated title fight is set to take place at UFC 184, which is being targeted for the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif., on Feb. 28, 2015.
Despite "The Count's" theory, Vitor's old wrestling coach, Kenny Monday, doesn't think Belfort has lost any strength whatsoever.
After all, it's not like they banned TNT.