Choosing to again draw upon his versatility and move to the middleweight division in hopes of gaining another opportunity to compete for a UFC title, Belfort wasted no time in making his presence felt at 185-pounds and earned a second-round, knockout win over Michael Bisping in January, 2013.
And the former light heavyweight king wasn’t finished yet as Belfort went on to dominate top-10, middleweight contenders Luke Rockhold in May, and Dan Henderson in November to finish the year with three consecutive knockout victories.
Now the proud owner of a newly-resurrected UFC career, Belfort has climbed up to No. 2 in the middleweight rankungs directly behind former 185-pound champ and octagon genie Anderson Silva, and has been rewarded for his recent efforts with a title shot against Chris Weidman set for May 24th at UFC 173.
But unless Belfort can somehow manage to convince a five-member commision advised by Dr. Timothy Trainer to grant him a ”therapuetic use exemption” for the use of testosterone replacement therapy, Belfort’s recently announced meeting with current middleweight champ Chris Weidman would either have to be moved or even cancelled.
And it won’t be easy for the Brazilian who was fined $10, 000,00 and given a nine month suspension after testing positive for an anabolic steriod known as 4-hydroxytestosterone in 2006.
Making matters more difficult for Belfort, Dr.Trainor, who is currently acting as the consulting physician for the Nevada State Atheletic Commision, recently told ESPN’s ”Outside The Lines”, that he planned to advise the five-member board against granting the exemption based on his belief that anyone who has previously tested positive for a banned substance should not be eligible for a break.
While Belfort has previously been granted the exemption on several occasions, the Brazilian has fought in his natve country in four of his past five octagon appearences where laws and procedures concerning these matters are often very different from those in North America.
Regardless of Dr. Trainor’s recomendation however, the five-member board has guaranteed that Belfort’s arguement will be heard and his case decided upon based on the same standards that would apply to anyone else.
Not alone in his use of testosterone replacement therapy, fellow UFC-ers Dan Henderson and Frank Mir have also been granted exemptions in the past for the use of T.R.T., but none had ever previously tested positive for a banned substance.
While many of these fighters have clean records filled with negative test results, there’s a wide spread belief that those who currently use testostorone replacement therapy do so to regulate testostorone levels after using heavy steriods earlier in their respective careers.