Of all the MMA fighters to hop aboard the TRT train in recent months, Vitor Belfort has far and away received the most shit for it from fans and pundits alike. Maybe it’s because he’s a Brazilian who’s been conveniently tucked away in Brazil for his past few fights, crushing hapless, pasty dudes with techniques straight out of a video game, or maybe it’s because he’s a former steroid user who has comically sidestepped around every question concerning TRT since undergoing the treatment. Your guess is as good as ours.
In any case, the one aspect of TRT that Belfort has remained steadfast in defending since his usage was made public was the idea that he *needed* it to compete with today’s younger fighters, who are practically overflowing with the stuff. “Basically what TRT is for me is to not be at a disadvantage,” Belfort has stated, “Low testosterone is something that can cause serious health problems and even death. You can have problems, big problems, if it’s untreated. So the treatment is for you to live longer and have a better life by having less health problems.”
OK, so Belfort basically needs TRT to survive, is what he’s saying — which, fine, we’ve heard that excuse before. But you’d think a statement like that would essentially condemn Belfort to TRT usage for the rest of his career (or life, really), because were he to suddenly stop using TRT, it would prove that he never really needed it in the first place, right?
Belfort recently spoke with UOL ahead of his upcoming rematch with Dan Henderson, and well, we’ll just allow him to spell out the terms and conditions of his TRT usage for you (translation via MMAFighting):
Belfort wants to fight the winner of Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva, who meet at UFC 168, and he would accept to stop using TRT if that’s one of the conditions on him earning the shot at the gold.
“I’ve already said that, if they agree with it, I would (stop doing TRT),” he said. “No problem at all. If they want me to get there in a disadvantage, that’s ok.
“But they already told me that’s not the problem,” he continued. “UFC told me, ‘You can’t go in there with a disadvantage.’ The thing is, I’m in normal testosterone levels with TRT. That’s the treatment. People don’t seem to understand that I’m the only guy that does blood tests. Many fighters don’t do this, many use illegal stuff and are not tested like I am. I’m tested all the time. Week after week, month after month. I have to keep the levels normal to make it fair.”
I’m not going to try and act like an expert on TRT, but doesn’t this statement strike you as a little…off? I mean, here we have been led to believe that Belfort *needs* TRT to maintain normal testosterone levels, but suddenly when a title shot’s on the line, he’s willing to drop the treatment altogether and suffer, like he said, “a disadvantage?” In the biggest fight of his life? (Potentially) against a guy who did this to him in their first fight?! DOES ANY OF THIS MAKES SENSE?!!!
Perhaps even more troubling about this statement is that Belfort seems to be operating under the belief that the UFC wouldn’t give him another title shot unless he dropped TRT. While we all know The Baldfather’s newfound stance on TRT to be rather…blunt, one would imagine that he’d want the best possible Belfort fighting were he to grant him another title shot. Then again, maybe what Belfort means by “dropping TRT” for a title shot has to do with some higher, moral reasoning (LOL!). Maybe he believes he can win the actual title without TRT but he just needed a little boost along the way. Which, if that’s the case, just makes Belfort’s insistence on using TRT in the first place all the more shady.
I don’t know, you guys. All I’ve taken away from this statement is that at some point, Vitor Belfort made a huge withdrawal at the First Bank of Lies.