Sorry to all the "Phenom" fans who may have gotten their hopes up.
Turns out Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender Vitor Belfort is not as close to his Octagon return as he recently led us to believe, based on comments promotion president Dana White made at the UFC 172 post-fight media event (transcription via MMA Fighting).
"He's gotta solve his problems with the Nevada State Athletic Commission and when he does that, we'll figure it out. He's got a lot of work to do. That shit just doesn't happen like that. You gotta get on the agenda. He's got a lot of work to do. He's fooling himself if that's what he really thinks, he took a couple of home tests and he's ready to roll. Or whatever he did. He's always fun. He's hilarious."
Belfort was sidelined after the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) banned testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) earlier this year, in a landmark ruling that also forced longtime veterans Chael Sonnen and Dan Henderson to abandon the controversial treatment.
So why can't Belfort just rid his system of TRT and apply for his license to fight?
Like White said, "shit doesn't happen like that" when you're "The Phenom," who previously failed a drug test for steroids in Nevada and then had a surprise exam back in February. Belfort has refused to release those latest results to the public and though it's not an admission of guilt, it certainly does not help his case.
After all, the Brazilian has a history of keeping things private.
In the end, the only outlet qualified to say Belfort is "back" is the commission, which doesn't sound close to happening if the former champ is still "not on the agenda." Meanwhile, the division rolls on without him. But for how long? Only Vitor knows for sure.