Vitor Belfort: The Face of TRT Usage in MMA?

Vitor Belfort has been on a tear ever since Anderson Silva made the front kick famous with his face at UFC 126.

The Brazilian has won five of his six fights inside the Octagon since then, winning four “Knockout of the Night” awards, losing only to current light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones at UFC 152.

Even in defeat, Vitor (24-10-0, 17 KOs) still had his moments during his bout against Jones, coming close to forcing the tap with an armbar during the first round, threatening with a couple of other submissions until the longest reigning light-heavyweight champ in UFC history put him away with an Americana during the fourth round of their 2012 title tilt.

Belfort bounced back from the loss to Jones with a head kick knockout victory against Michael Bisping, spinning heel kick KO of Luke Rockhold, and, his latest, a historic 77-second mauling of Dan Henderson at UFC Fight Night 32.

Unfortunately for Vitor, his accomplishments have been marred by his admitted use of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), so much so that it’s become pretty routine for fans to blow up social media about TRT usage in MMA following every Vitor Belfort fight.

If only mixed martial arts fans were consistent with their disdain for TRT users.

The reality is: TRT usage continues to be a problem in MMA because fans refuse to hold their favorites accountable. The UFC’s number one trash-talker Chael Sonnen is the perfect example.

Thanks to elevated testosterone levels, which he didn’t even bother to disclose to the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC), Sonnen climbed to the top of MMA’s food chain with his grinding assault on Anderson Silva at UFC 117. Sonnen ended up getting submitted during the fifth round, but his performance was enough to earn him a second shot at Silva.

Two wins later — after a short suspension by CSAC — and Sonnen was back inside the Octagon fighting the man he almost defeated by cheating. He didn’t have to hide his testosterone supplementation the second time around. The Nevada State Athletic Commission made things a lot easier for Sonnen, granting him a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for TRT.

There was no major controversy, the MMA media barely talked about it, and things went on as usual in the UFC. After losing to Silva at UFC 148, Sonnen jumped to the light-heavyweight division and fought Jon Jones for the title in his first fight back at 205 pounds, yet, so many were willing to overlook his TRT usage.

What makes Vitor Belfort so different?

David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 8 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter and check out his blog.


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