Vitor Belfort says he never gave up his title shot, UFC replaced him due to TRT rule changes

Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Vitor Belfort released a statement to present his side of the story of his removal from the UFC 173 middleweight championship bout. In the statement he claims the UFC made the decision and it was not his.

Vitor Belfort has released a statement on the developments of last night and his removal from his UFC middleweight title shot. The news broke late last night/early this morning that Belfort was out of his bout with Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida was taking his place.

The decision came after Nevada banned TRT use for fighters in the state.

Belfort has released a statement on his Facebook clarifying that he did not withdraw from the fight, citing a UFC decision based on a lack of time to adhere to the new rules. Here is the translated statement:

"I never gave up fighting in UFC 173 and never mentioned it. Therefore, all information posted in any mass media advertising that is not true.

What I announced was that I will be resigning "TRT" and not "giving up the fight" to continue my dream of fighting.

The UFC decided to put another opponent in my place because I didn't have time to fit the new rules of the NSAC. According to the UFC, I will face the winner of Weidman vs Lyotto within the new regulations of all the Athletic Commissions.

I'm sorry that this happened, and I appreciate the strength and understanding of all fans, sponsors, UFC and athletic commissions ".

This doesn't exactly add up with Belfort's statement from last night: "The Nevada State Athletic Commission recently altered its policy and no longer will permit testosterone use exemptions, and will not permit a TRT program. As other jurisdictions may follow suit, I am going to drop my TRT program and compete in MMA without it. Given the time constraints involved between now and my proposed next bout in May, I have determined not to apply for a license to fight in Nevada at this time."

So blaming the media for spreading misinformation is a bit...odd. But that's MMA, folks.

Update:

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