Today, the Nevada State Athletic Commission unanimously agreed to ban Testosterone Replacement Therapy from all combat sports. While the initial shock and awe has yet to fade, MMA fans are starting to realize the potential consequences of this ban; namely the UFC Middleweight title fight at UFC 173.
UFC Middleweight champion, Chris Weidman, is set to take on streaking Middleweight contender, Vitor Belfort, in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 24th at UFC 173. Belfort is coming off a stellar 2013 in which he defeated Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold, and Dan Henderson all by head kick knockout, but under the shroud of TRT. With each successive victory, the Belfort dissenters called him a cheat for using TRT. Although there are numerous other UFC fighters on TRT, no one had the success that Belfort had, thus making him the face of the controversy.
Chris Weidman had an incredible 2013 as well, by defeating Anderson Silva twice. At UFC 162, Weidman shocked the world by KO’ing the greatest champion to ever step foot inside the cage. At UFC 168, Weidman defended his title when Anderson broke his leg in the second round of their bout.
The Weidman and Belfort matchup had fireworks written all over it, but it now may be in jeopardy. VADA, an independent organization founded to offer and promote effective anti-doping, brought up the possible medical issues with abruptly stopping TRT usage. For Belfort, who is prescribed TRT, it may be dangerous for him to quit using the drug. At the same time, if Belfort continues using TRT, he may not be licensed for his fight against Weidman in May.
Even if Belfort stops using TRT immediately, there is no timetable as to when he would be healthy to train let alone fight. What if Belfort’s body does not react well to his abrupt stoppage of TRT? It is very possible that Vitor Belfort will lose his shot at the UFC Middleweight title because of the TRT ban. With that being said, I am sure Lyoto Machida is waiting in the wings to step up against Weidman at UFC 173.