UFC star Vitor Belfort has taken a lot of heat over the past few years as somewhat of a poster-boy for the controversial practice of testosterone replacement therapy. In the eyes of many, allowing a 36-year old man with a history involving a positive hit for PED use to improve his lowered testosterone level through medical means is akin to giving him license to cheat. Adding to the criticism surrounding Belfort, three of his last four fights have taken place in his home country of Brazil where some believe drug testing isn’t as rigid.
Belfort did his best to clear up the reason he’s had his proverbial backyard to play in so frequently in an interview with The MMA Hour, explaining it was a business decision on the UFC’s part rather than a way of getting around the rules, also arguing people don’t understand the way the athletic commission in the South American nation actually works.
“A lot of fighters are on TRT right now, (but) everybody’s saying that’s why I fight there. But I believe the reason why I fight in Brazil is because I sell a lot in Brazil,” explained Belfort. “I miss fighting in Las Vegas and other places, but I don’t see any problems that I’m not fighting (there) because I sell big in Brazil. Makes sense for them and makes sense for me.”
Trying to eliminate the notion Brazilian policies aren’t especially strict, “The Phenom” said the opposite was actually true.
“Brazil is the only place that they do blood tests after the fight,” said the former champion.
“Now, I’m fighting a guy who’s on TRT too,” he continued, pointing out upcoming opponent Dan Henderson’s past admissions of testosterone use in case fans still didn’t feel a level playing field was involved in the upcoming encounter. “Two months before the fight I have to do blood tests, at least once a month. I do that on my own every week too. It’s important. I’m just trying to be fair with everybody and also with myself.”
Belfort concluded by expressing exhilaration over getting a second shot at Henderson after losing a decision to the heavy-handed grappler in their PRIDE days.
“I’m very happy to have that rematch. Not a lot of guys give me rematches. It’s my first in the UFC so I’m excited,” said Belfort. “He’s a lion. I’m facing a lion, so I have to be ready. Henderson is fighting five rounds with tough guys, going after guys, not backing off. Dan Henderson is a great fighter. I have to be ready and prepared, focused, and that’s what I’m doing.”
Henderson (29-10) and Belfort (23-10) are scheduled to headline UFC Fight Night 32 on November 9. The card is set to air on FOX Sports 1.