Vitor Belfort's use of Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) might be the most polarising of all fighters utilising the therapy in today's MMA. This could well be because of his performance enhancing drug (PED) test failure following his loss to Dan Henderson at Pride 32 in October of 2006, where he tested positive for 4-Hydroxytestosterone -- a patented anabolic steroid by the G. D. Searle & Company in the 1950's who are now a part of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.
Belfort claimed contamination of over-the-counter supplements he had bought, though this was never proven to the point his name was cleared and the test result overturned. His drug test failure happened in the state of Nevada, and just recently the Nevada State Athletic Commission's executive director Keith Kizer has stated his doubts over Belfort being granted a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for TRT should he wish to fight in Nevada in the future. Along with New Jersey's State Athletic Control Board, the Nevada commission is among the most respected oversights for MMA and Boxing in the world.
So far Belfort's TRT use has been limited to his fights in Brazil as far as we know, with his fight with Michael Bisping his first confirmed use of it, and it's continued use at UFC on FX 8: Belfort vs Rockhold.
Above is a photo gallery of Vitor Belfort showcasing his physique over the years he's fought in the UFC, starting in his early 'Phenom' days for the unregulated, SEG owned UFC, through to his most current fights in Brazil in 2013.
I have chosen photos that have caught Belfort in similar stances, from promotional shots, to weigh-ins and to his look in the cage after hydrating. This is an attempt to keep the photo comparison fair with the photos that were available to us.
What do BElitists think? Is his TRT use having an obvious effect on his training and fighting ability, or are we seeing the same Vitor we've always seen?