Vitor Belfort out of UFC 173 title bout after NSAC TRT ban

February 28, 2014

Earlier in the day, the Nevada State Athletic Commission banned therapeutic use exemptions for testosterone treatment therapy (TRT), just a few hours after that announcement was made, UFC teased a big announcement would be aired on FOX Sports Live tonight.

Fox Sports Live reported that Vitor Belfort would not be applying for a Nevada license for UFC 173, which is scheduled to take place on May 24th, due to the NSAC ruling to ban TRT.  His replacement was announced to be Lyoto Machida after his recent win against Gegard Mousasi, which means the new UFC 173 headliner will be Weidman vs Machida.

Belfort claimed that he would now make the efforts to get off of TRT and continue to fight in the UFC without the testosterone therapy since other athletic commissions in the US would most likely follow the NSAC’s ruling.


Payout Perspective:

Today’s NSAC ruling on banning TRT will have a ripple effect on MMA for years to come. We got some of that today already, as Belfort’s announcement today to pull out of his fight three months in advance will cement his status as the face of the TRT era in Mixed Martial Arts and in the UFC.  The UFC is already in a tough spot to find headliners this year due to injuries and the impromptu departures of Georges St. Pierre (infinite leave) and Anderson Silva (injury), two of their biggest stars.

The buzz for a Weidman vs Machida main event in Las Vegas will not have the same feel as previous major events during the Summer time. This news puts even more pressure on Ronda Rousey to keep things going in 2014 as a number of UFC champions will continue to be sidelined from injuries suffered last year. As far as PPV numbers go so far in 2014, UFC 169 was estimated by Dave Meltzer to be in the low 200,000’s while UFC 170: Rousey vs McMann figures to do somewhere on the lower to mid end of 300,000 buys.  Factoring in today’s news of Belfort pulling out of UFC 173, it looks like it will be a tough first half of the year for UFC PPV sales.

9 Responses to “Vitor Belfort out of UFC 173 title bout after NSAC TRT ban”

  1. Diego on February 28th, 2014 7:16 AM

    I actually like TUEs because at least it’s supervised and prescribed use of steroids. Now all that use will go underground again.

  2. Sampson Simpson on February 28th, 2014 8:44 AM


  3. LeonThePro on February 28th, 2014 8:44 AM

    Wow, Dana must be having second thoughts on his proclamation of the new biggest star? 325k buys is good for the paper thin 170 card, but serious trouble is brewing if that’s the UFC’s “big gun.”

    2013 average was around 470k buys.

    He better open his marketing wallet to get that Bones Jones and Weidman buyrate up.

  4. turd master on March 1st, 2014 6:51 AM

    leon i agree with you, even more alarming for dana has to be at this moment he does not have one fighter on his roster that can even pull in 500k buys now,

    with gsp gone, anderson is pretty much finished, and the drop in buys for guys like jones, rosey, and velasquez, to many watered down shows, and over priced ppvs are catching up to the ufc.

  5. saldathief on March 2nd, 2014 5:56 PM

    TRT is juicing! TRT is drug use! TRT is steroid use! If you don’t have enough test retire it means your too old and probably screwed your system up from steroid use in the past Good move NSAC no drugs in sports!

  6. Diego on March 5th, 2014 6:34 AM

    Do we know how many boxers have TUEs?

  7. Jason Cruz on March 7th, 2014 10:08 PM

    @Diego – According to ESPN Outside the Lines article – 0 boxers have sought a TUE in the state of Nevada.

  8. mikekoz68 on April 19th, 2014 12:17 AM

    What does TUE stand for?

  9. Jason Cruz on April 21st, 2014 1:39 PM

    Therapeutic Use Exemption

Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post a comment.