In news that shocked absolutely no one, the UFC has announced that Vitor Belfort has willingly withdrawn from his scheduled bout against middleweight champ Chris Weidman at UFC 173. Taking Belfort’s place will be Lyoto Machida.
Belfort’s withdrawal comes on the heels of the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s sudden banning of all testosterone-replacement therapy/testosterone usage exemptions – a move that is sure to have ramifications that stretch beyond Belfort and the UFC 173 shake up.
Said Dana White in a press release:
“With today’s ruling by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, who’s undefeated since dropping to 185 pounds, will fight champion Chris Weidman in the main event of UFC 173 in May,” UFC President Dana White said. “Machida was dominant in his last two fights, beating Gegard Mousasi and knocking out Mark Munoz.
He’s earned this shot at Weidman, who’s coming off two straight wins over the greatest fighter of all time, Anderson Silva. Machida wants nothing more than to avenge the losses of his friend and training partner, and become just the third fighter in UFC history to win titles in two separate weight classes.”
— UFC (@ufc) February 28, 2014
Belfort has done well for himself in recent years, defeating in impressive fashion Dan Henderson, Luke Rockhold and Michael Bisping. But given his TRT usage, the spectre of cheating has always hung over his head. What do you think of Vitor now?