Belfort withdraws from UFC 173 after TRT ban

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 28 2014 08:27 PM | Updated as of Mar 01 2014 04:27 AM

MANILA – Brazilian fighter Vitor Belfort has withdrawn from his supposed middleweight title clash against reigning champion Chris Weidman after the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) decided to abolish the use of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).

Belfort, who has admitted using the therapy due to reported low testosterone count, said he will discontinue undergoing TRT so he can secure a fight license in Nevada in the near future.

However, he decided to bow out of the title bout scheduled on May 24 due to time constraints.

"The Nevada State Athletic Commission recently altered its policy and no longer will permit testosterone use exemptions, and will not permit a TRT program. 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," Belfort said in his announcement published by MMA Fighting.

Stepping up for Belfort is former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, who is coming of a 2-fight win streak in the middleweight division.

"I'm really excited for this opportunity to fight UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman," Machida said. "I'm going to train hard and be well prepared for this fight."