Vitor Belfort steps out of UFC 173 after Nevada TRT ban and replaced by Lyoto Machida against Chris Weidman

Chris Trotman

Following the NAC's decision to ban TRT, Vitor Belfort has removed himself from UFC 173. Machida stepped up to take his place challenging for the 185 lb. belt.

After stringing together three consecutive first round knockout wins in 2013, former champion Vitor Belfort earned the right to challenge Chris Weidman for the middleweight title. Weidman is coming off his first title defense in a rematch against Anderson Silva where he won by second round TKO (leg break). In his last appearance inside the Octagon, Belfort became the first man to knockout Dan Henderson.

Of course, one of the biggest stories surrounding this match has been Belfort's use of testosterone replacement therapy. While his use of the treatment first became public knowledge before his fight with Michael Bisping last year, Vitor revealed that he's been undergoing the treatment for approximately three years now.

In preparation for his upcoming bout at UFC 173, Belfort submitted to a urinalysis done by the Nevada Athletic Commission earlier this month. In the wake of the Nevada Athletic Commission's decision to ban TRT, Belfort has pulled himself from the event and will forgo the treatment in the future.

Stepping in for Belfort will be former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida. "The Dragon" made his middleweight debut in October with a first round knockout of Mark Munoz. He followed that up with a unanimous decision win at UFC Fight Night 36. He'll step into the main event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV on May 24.

Luke Thomas from MMA Fighting discussed the big ESPN "Outside the Lines" story regarding TRT use in MMS on his Chat Wrap show earlier this week:

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