Nevada State Athletic Comission chair confirms that Belfort will have trouble getting a TUE

Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

It's not surprising, but now it's official. Vitor Belfort shouldn't have any trouble getting a license to fight in Nevada, but he may not be so lucky in applying for a TUE.

The saga of Vitor Belfort's latest middleweight title shot continues to unfold. He is tentatively scheduled to face current champ Chris Weidman some time this year in Las Vegas. It will be the first time that Belfort has fought outside of Brazil since his fight against Jon Jones in 2012 in Toronto and it will be his first fight in the US since 2011. Ask any UFC exec and they'll tell you that it's just good business sense. Belfort is one of the UFC's biggest draws in one of their biggest markets, if he's going to be fighting it should be in front of a home town crowd south of the equator. However his history of testosterone therapy and, previous to that, steroid abuse, have led many to question whether or not that is playing a big factor in keeping Vitor fighting in parts of the world with a less strict drug testing regimen.

Whatever the case, Vitor is returning to the US sometime this year and it will be the Nevada State Athletic Commission's unenviable task to decide whether or not Belfort can maintain his TRT exemption given his past history of performance enhancing drug use. The NSAC chair, Francisco Aguilar, recently went on the record with MMAJunkie to talk about Vitor's licensing status and the possibility of him getting a TUE.

"I think TRT is something new, and [an exemption] hasn't been used very frequently," NSAC chairperson Francisco Aguilar told MMAjunkie. "To have it regulated in regards to Mr. Belfort, it's new territory for us. But I don't think that sways the decision one way or the other."

Aguilar said that while the regulatory body has "some concerns about his past," and will want to hear testimony from "the parties involved," he added, "giving him a license is not going to be a problem."

"The issue is going to come from a TRT exemption," he said.

...

"I don't want to speculate on [whether Belfort will get an exemption] until I hear the full story," Aguilar said. "I think we've dealt with some pretty unique issues with different fighters, and we've got to take each issue individually."

Apparently Belfort will be the first fighter to apply for a TUE in Nevada with a past history of steroid use. It sounds like there isn't any set hard and fast policy that the NSAC is going with as to whether or not Belfort can get an exemption, only the baseline fact that they'd rather not grant one to past steroid users. Whatever the outcome it sounds like the fight itself won't be in any danger. Belfort has already stated that he would be fine to fight Weidman without TRT and the commission has stated that they will almost certainly be licensing Belfort regardless.

Be sure to check out the full article as it has a lot of details about Belfort's past failure, what it was for, and exactly what punishment he suffered because of it. And, of course, be sure to stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for all your news, notes, technical breakdowns, and pre/post fight insights and announcements.

Here's Luke Thomas of MMA Fighting talking about Belfort and his desire to get a TUE for TRT in his title shot:

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