Less than 24 hours after the Nevada State Athletic Commission voted to ban Testosterone Replacement Therapy use, Vitor Belfort was replaced by Lyoto Machida in UFC 173’s main event to take on Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman.
After FOX Sports Live announced late Thursday night that Vitor Belfort withdrew from fighting Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman for the title at UFC 173, Belfort stated on his Facebook page that the facts of that story were skewed.
“I never gave up fighting in UFC 173 and never mentioned it. Therefore, all information posted in any mass media advertising that is not true.
What I announced was that I will be resigning “TRT” and not “giving up the fight” to continue my dream of fighting.
The UFC decided to put another opponent in my place because I didn’t have time to fit the new rules of the NSAC. According to the UFC, I will face the winner of Weidman vs Lyotto within the new regulations of all the Athletic Commissions.
I’m sorry that this happened, and I appreciate the strength and understanding of all fans, sponsors, UFC and athletic commissions “.
Additionally, Belfort released another statement via Instagram to reach out to the fans and let them know his intentions for the future.
“I want to apologize to all my fans that have been let down by the news of me not competing in the title fight against Chris Weidman. I wanted nothing more than to go and compete for the belt. As you all know, I have been doing a legal treatment approved by every commission I fight under called TRT for a health deficiency that I have. As of yesterday the Nevada commission banned the use of TRT. I am not exempt from the rules. I respect the Commission’s ruling, and have dropped my TRT program as of yesterday. My body wouldn’t have had enough time to acclimate and I wouldn’t be able to meet the new requirements of the commission swiftly enough to be licensed for the main bout and permit the UFC sufficient time to promote it. I am prepared to fight for the championship belt without my TRT program. I look forward to competing under the new set of regulations. I want to thank all my fans, the UFC, and all the commissions for their unwavering support and I will come back stronger than ever! I’m waiting for the winner.”