Just when the whole TRT thing had quieted down somewhat, thanks to the drama regarding who Vitor Belfort was actually going to fight, the debate has been reignited with the news he’s fighting once again in Brazil. Of course, the argument / conspiracy theory goes that the UFC has been booking Belfort to fight in Brazil because he’s cleared for TRT there, and that further, the punishing striker’s treatments aren’t rigorously monitored. Dana White, as you probably know, has angrily shot down the accusation on more than one occasion.
Now that Belfort is set to fight Dan Henderson on November 9th in Goias, Brazil, which will be his third straight fight in the nation, White has been fielding questions regarding the fighter’s TRT use once again. While speaking to the media following last night’s UFC Fight Night 27 card, here’s what the UFC boss man had to say about why the vet continues to get booked in Brazil (comments drawn from footage at MMA Fighting.com):
“The second most important media that we’re in business with is Globo. Globo is very important…They had a big fight that’s going to be on Globo so they wanted f—in Vitor. So, if they want Vitor, they’re going to get Vitor. They tell me they want, whoever they say they want, I’m going to try to make it happen.”
“Vitor Belfort is not cheating; Vitor Belfort is not not being tested, Vitor Belfort is not fighting in Brazil because he can get away with something down there, that’s ridiculous. First of all, we wouldn’t do that for anybody, anybody. We would never put together a situation where a fighter has an advantage over another fighter.”
The whole TRT issue aside, it’s hard to argue that Mr. Belfort isn’t a pretty big deal down in Brazil, and that having him fight there isn’t a good way to boost ratings. The middleweight contender pointed to that fact recently on “The MMA Hour”, while discussing why he keeps fighting in the South American nation. Now will that settle this whole TRT business in critic’s minds? Probably not.
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