Vitor Belfort's TRT usage has come to light over the past few months, and has become a part of the focus going into his UFC on FX 8 fight with Luke Rockhold. Like Belfort's last opponent Michael Bisping, Rockhold has latched onto the TRT angle and pushed it to the forefront while discussing the bout. Belfort was a guest on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani this week, and gave a long interview detailing his side of the story with testosterone replacement therapy (via MMA Fighting):
"It's hard. I cannot explain why I need something. It's just, the doctors, you know, just they said that I need [TRT]. I did everything by the book. I went to the commissions, the UFC. I never hide from them, so they knew what I was doing. I believe everyone has their personal things. My health is my personal life, you know? A lot of people on TRT, they don't tell [the UFC], whatever. But my case came out because they got a guy on steroids (Thiago Tavares) and they thought it was me, and then they just opened the books. But they knew I doing everything with the UFC together, and never hiding anything.
"It's just open books with me. Nothing was cheating. I never cheat, everything was by the book, and it is what it is."
With Tavares, Belfort is referring to the hoopla surrounding the UFC on FX 7 drug tests. All that came out originally was that one person failed, and most wrongly assumed it was Belfort. It turned out to be Tavares. Vitor went onto say that he has been tested "many times" by the UFC:
"Whatever's good to make the sport clean, because there are always people cheating, looking for something. I agree (with the testing), man. I think Dana White's doing the right thing. I think the more we separate who's doing the right thing, it's important."
The Phenom doesn't believe that the use of TRT is cheating, and says that skills win fights, nothing else:
"It's just easy when you talk bad and when you talk gossip. You know, that's the world, man. That sells things, that sells papers, sells fights. That's what people love, gossip, talk and this. They need something to entertain themselves. I think everyone has to just live with themselves. I don't judge. I don't like it. I don't like to talk bad about people. ... I like to focus and do the right thing for myself, and learn and improve, correct my mistakes. It's when you point the finger, man, the finger points back to you.
"Why don't we talk about people that do TRT and they lose in the first round?" Belfort continued. "Because, you know, TRT doesn't win fights, man. It doesn't win fights. Look at Chael Sonnen. He's on TRT and he lost fights in the first, second round. It's not going to win fights. You've got to have skills to win fights. That's what it is. A lot of guys are on it. I think they should release everyone who's on it, because that would bring more legitimacy to the sport, and UFC doing the right thing and testing people. I think we're on the right path, and if you lose, just accept it, man. Everyone has an excuse."
He also addressed Rockhold on his statements about Belfort, which implied that he was less of a man because he needed TRT:
"I'm glad he's not my doctor," Belfort laughed. "I'm glad I don't need to listen to him.
"I think he's wrong, but what are you going to say? People say what they're going to say. He doesn't know me, I don't know how he can say that, but we'll see. You cannot judge. I think it's too arrogant to say you're more of a man. He doesn't know what a man is. He doesn't have any kids, he doesn't have a wife. I don't know what he's thinking. He's talking about courage? I don't know what he did in the sport. I think it's disrespectful, the way that he thinks. But it is what it is. You cannot control it, you cannot control people.
"My conversation with him will be inside the cage," Belfort then vowed. "I don't have to talk. We're going to fight, and that's what it's about. I don't need to prove anything to anyone. I did a lot of things for the sport, and I'm still doing. Facing these young guys, and I bring the heat, man. He'll come to a jungle. He'll face a lion."
To close things out, he drew the line in the proverbial sand:
"Whatever he said is on him. Words have power, and I think when you're proud, and you're arrogant, and you cross the line, you've got to deal with what you said.
"Bisping did the same thing, and guess what? When people talk, man..."
I've stated before that I don't really like TRT being the focus of the build to this very important fight, but at least it's getting some attention. Better than nothing, I guess.