Vitor Belfort is once again licensed to compete in the State of Nevada.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission unanimously granted the former UFC light-heavyweight champion licensure to fight in Nevada if the Brazilian agreed to three non-negotiable conditions. Firstly, the fight would not take place before December, with the second condition emphasizing that the bout is to take place in Nevada. The third condition was that Belfort would be subjected to any amount of drug testing that the commission considered "reasonable".
The Brazilian failed a random drug test on February 7, which was due to a significant rise in his testosterone levels. Considering testosterone Replacement Therapy was banned earlier in the year, Belfort was ultimately removed from his title fight against Chris Weidman at UFC 173 and replaced by Lyoto Machida.
On multiple occasions, Belfort has suggested that his levels are back to normal and that he is ready to accept his title shot against the middleweight champion. He arrived at the meeting armed with his lawyer and prepared for the potential onslaught of questions.
"At the time the test was taken, I was considering filing for TRT in Nevada. At the time of the test, I was considering filing for TRT in Brazil. The commission requested that I take a test and I fully cooperated. My levels of testosterone were above the required amount but my doctor explained to me that that was because I had taken my treatment the day before.
"When Nevada banned TRT, I stopped my TRT treatment the very same day. Since that test, I have taken subsequent tests (provided to the commission) which indicate that my results were either at levels or below level. In the interest of full disclosure in 2006, I did not intentionally take a banned substance. I believe that it was due to a medical injury I had at the time.
Apart from promising his full cooperation, Belfort was adamant that he would "not consider fighting anywhere inside or out of Nevada before December."
Belfort explained to commissioner Brady that his job is to "be a role model" and "fulfill his dream"
Belfort's lawyer revealed that he had a discussion with the UFC with the interest of placing Belfort on the December 6 card Las Vegas and Belfort quickly added that he has no interest fighting anywhere before Nevada.
"I want to prove to the commission that I am a great fighter who follows the rules. I promise I will not fight anywhere else before I fight here in Nevada. I promise you guys."
Ultimately, Belfort agreed to the commission's drug testing regulations, which included "enhanced testing" according to commissioner Pat Lundell. This also meant that Belfort would be subjected to random tests between now and his potential December fight date and that they would be done at his own cost. He appeared eager to prove his willingness to comply with the NSAC's regulations.
"Whenever you guys request, I always collaborate in full. Whatever you ask, it will be done."
Immediately following the commission's decision, the UFC announced that Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort would headline UFC 181 on December 6 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.