Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) in mixed martial arts (MMA) is no more.
At least, not in the state in Nevada and in Brazil, two prime locations for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and its biggest events, after each respective athletic commission banned the controversial therapy.
Something that was long overdue, according to UFC President Dana White.
While the consensus is that Vitor Belfort is likely the fighter to suffer the most from the new rules, seeing as how many credit his recent success to TRT, Rashad Evans, for one, doesn't believe that will be the case. According to "Suga" -- Belfort's Blackzilian teammate -- Vitor doesn't need the treatment to be a dangerous fighter and will succeed just fine without it.
Evans goes on to say the fact that the majority of the MMA community has made "The Phenom" the face of TRT is unfair, because he isn't the only fighter using the treatment.
He broke it down on The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting):
"I don't know, hopefully he gets the title shot. The thing with [Vitor] having to pull out -- or the fact that he had to be pulled out -- was that he wouldn't have been able to pass the inspection with the new rules. Because it takes at least 12 weeks for [TRT] to be out of your system. He didn't have that. So he wouldn't have been able to within the rules and regulations of it. I don't think he needs to compete with TRT. [Vitor]'s a great fighter, great athlete, he doesn't need any. I see so many people, they say such negative and nasty things about him and there's been people that can make him the face of TRT, like there wasn't so many other fighters who've done it, and [who still do] it."
In addition, Evans says Vitor's wins are all thanks to skill, not TRT.
"I don't really think it's fair for people to put that on him and make it seem like he's a cheater when he was only doing what was in the rules to do. I hope he does get a chance to fight for the belt, and I hope he does get a chance to show people that him winning those fights had nothing to do with the TRT, it was just his ability and hard work."
Vitor was scheduled to challenge current middleweight champion Chris Weidman at UFC 173 on May 24, 2014, in Las Vegas, Nevada. However, the higher-ups at ZUFFA yanked "The Phenom" from the title fight and pegged Lyoto Machida as his replacement.
But not all is lost for the Brazilian bomber, as he has been a promised title shot against the winner. And he's already begun the detox process to rid himself of any extra testosterone from his body to make sure he meets the commission's new guidelines.
A process that takes at least 90 days.
And the MMA world waits on pins and needles to see if Belfort can keep his hot streak going without TRT. Evans, for ones, believes he can.