The UFC 184 middleweight title bout that we’ve been waiting for may finally on after it passed what was perhaps its biggest test.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort has passed a random blood and urine test administered by the Nevada Athletic State Commission, according to NSAC executive director Bob Bennett. Bennett said that Belfort tested negative for all banned substances and that his blood serum testosterone levels were normal.
The drug test was requested by the Commission last November 1 as part of the conditional license given to Belfort by the NSAC last July where the 37 year old Brazilian striker agreed to submit himself to any tests requested by the NSAC for the remainder of his MMA career as well as shouldering the costs related to the tests.
Belfort was scheduled to challenge UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman at UFC 173 but pulled out of the fight the day after the NSAC officially banned Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) for all combat sports last February 27. Belfort, who was a known user of the treatment and had legal medical exemptions to use it, cited the time constraints in dropping the program as the reason for dropping from the bout. Weidman went on to face and defeat Lyoto Machida at UFC 175.
The two were expected to face off at UFC 181 in Las Vegas on December 6, but Weidman broke his hand in training and further moved the bout to February 28, 2015.
Fight is on
With the results of the test, Belfort is expected to pass all other tests that the NSAC may request before the fight. UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman was a little worried about Belfort’s November 1 test because Belfort had tested positive for a banned substance once in his career while another test last February showed that his blood testosterone levels were above normal because he was on TRT. But after the results were released last Thursday, Weidman was quick to say: “That’s the guy I want to fight.”
Weidman and Belfort are scheduled to headline UFC 184 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on February 28 in what is expected to be a barn burner of an event. Weidman has fought only once in 2014, beating Lyoto Machida by unanimous decision last July. In 2013, Weidman broke the legendary Anderson Silva’s streak of 17 wins by knocking him out at UFC 162 and broke Silva’s leg during their rematch at UFC 168. Undefeated at 12-0 with 5 knockouts and 3 submissions, Weidman has become the new alpha male in the talent-laden middleweight division.
But Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort has been on a phenomenal comeback trail after his first round knockout loss to Anderson Silva in 2011. Belfort has gone 5-1 s with 5 knockouts since then, losing only to Jon Jones in his challenge for the UFC light heavyweight belt at UFC 152. Belfort annihilated in succession top middleweight contenders Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold in spectacular fashion to earn the title shot. He also fought Dan Henderson in a light heavyweight bout in his most latest fight last November 2013.
But his comeback has been shrouded by the cloud of the performance enhancing TRT especially after five spectacular wins which included four knockout of the night awards. Belfort is looking to prove his detractors wrong and passing his first drug test is really the first big win for the Phenom since winning the UFC 12 Tournament in 1997.