Lyoto Machida replaces Vitor Belfort in UFC 173 main event after TRT ban
The same day that the Nevada State Athletic Commission announced it was banning testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), one of the most notorious TRT users pulled out of his anticipated championship fight.
The UFC announced on FOX Sports Live Thursday night that Vitor Belfort was being pulled from his middleweight title fight against Chris Weidman at UFC 173 and will be replaced by Lyoto Machida.
Belfort, 36, has won his last three UFC fights by knockout. He fought all three in Brazil, but this fight was scheduled for Las Vegas, so he would have needed a therapeutic use exemption from NSAC in order to compete. Now that NSAC has banned TRT, he decided to pull out of the fight (or the UFC pulled him depending on what you want to believe).
Belfort says he plans to continue competing in the UFC but he won’t use TRT.
“The Nevada State Athletic Commission recently altered its policy and no longer will permit testosterone use exemptions, and will not permit a TRT program,” Belfort said in a statement via FOX Sports. “As other jurisdictions may follow suit, I am going to drop my TRT program and compete in MMA without it.
“Given the time constraints involved between now and my proposed next bout in May, I have determined not to apply for a license to fight in Nevada at this time.”
Machida, 35, is back down at middleweight from light heavyweight and will take on Weidman.