Vitor Belfort Says He Didn’t Voluntarily Withdraw From UFC 173; Says He’s Fighting Weidman-Machida Winner

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It was announced by the UFC last night that Vitor Belfort was out of the main event of UFC 173 against middleweight champion Chris Weidman. The man replacing Belfort would be former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida.

Belfort released a statement a short time ago stating he didn’t voluntarily withdraw from the Weidman fight and has been promised by the UFC that he will face the Weidman-Machida winner.

Translation from Google:

“I never give up the fight at UFC 173 and never said that. … 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”.

That is different from the statement Belfort made last night through the UFC.

“The Nevada State Athletic Commission recently altered its policy and no longer will permit testosterone use exemptions, and will not permit a TRT program,” Belfort stated. “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.”

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Vitor Belfort Out of UFC 173, Lyoto Machida to Face Chris Weidman

belfortposeJust hours after the Nevada State Athletic Commission voted unanimously to ban therapeutic use exemptions for testosterone replacement therapy, Vitor Belfort pulled out of his upcoming middleweight title bout against Chris Weidman at UFC 173.  Former champion Lyoto Machida has already agreed to square off against Weidman for the title.

“The Nevada State Athletic Commission recently altered its policy and no longer will permit testosterone use exemptions, and will not permit a TRT program,” Belfort said in a statement.  “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.”

UFC 173 takes place on May 24 in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Belfort was riding a three-fight winning streak, defeating Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold and Dan Henderson, all by knockout.  All three of these bouts took place in Brazil where he was allowed to continue to use TRT.

That was going to come under scrutiny once Belfort was given the title shot against Weidman in Las Vegas.  He would first have to apply for a license in Nevada where he failed a drug test for elevated testosterone in 2006.  Belfort would have been required to go before the NSAC and apply for a license as well as an exemption for TRT use.

Now, Machida get his chance to reclaim the UFC middleweight championship against Weidman at UFC 173.  Machida is coming off a unanimous decision win over Gegard Mousasi at UFC Fight Night on February 15.

Nevada State Athletic Commission Bans Testosterone Replacement Therapy For All Fighters

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A few moments ago, the Nevada State Athletic Commission voted unanimously to ban therapeutic use exemptions for (TRT) testosterone replacement therapy effective immediately.

If any athlete has a TUE, no state commission will recognize it. Any fighter who competes in MMA, boxing and kickboxing will not be allowed to apply for an exemption going forward.

Some of the notables who have or had a TUE in the past include Vitor Belfort, Frank Mir, Chael Sonnen and Dan Henderson.

Brett Okamoto from ESPN.com got comment from UFC President Dana White regarding the news.

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UFC 169 Recap: Renan Barao, Jose Aldo Retain Titles

faber-baraoBrian and Steve recap UFC 169 including Renan Barao retaining the bantamweight championship in a controversial decision against Urijah Faber and Jose Aldo defeating Ricardo Lamas to remain the featherweight champion along with the spectacular fight between Abel Trujillo and Jamie Varner, the upcoming fight between Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort, a big ruling regarding TRT for the bout, Wanderlei Silva vs. Chael Sonnen and more on other possible matchups.

This podcast is sponsored by Warrior Dating.com. Warrior Dating is “The Worlds Premier Dating Network for Martial Artists”.  Follow Warrior Dating on Twitter @WarriorDating

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Watch Top 20 Knockouts In The History Of The UFC

The 20th anniversary show takes place on Saturday night with UFC 167. The organization has been releasing videos this week highlighting 20 years of the organization. In the video above shows the top 20 knockouts in UFC history. Here are the top five, which included a tie for the top spot.

5) Chuck Liddell vs Randy Couture II at UFC 52
4) Dan Henderson vs Michael Bisping at UFC 100
3) Gabriel Gonzaga vs Mirko Cro Cop at UFC 70
2) Edson Barboza vs Terry Etim at UFC 42
1) Chris Weidman vs Anderson Silva at UFC 162
1) Anderson Silva vs Vitor Belfort at UFC 126

would you change the top five?

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UFC Fight Night 32 Bonuses: Vitor Belfort Heads List Getting $50,000

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It was a quick night for Vitor Belfort as he defeated Dan Henderson by knockout 77 seconds into the main event of UFC Fight Night 32.

UFC President Dana White announced during the post-fight press conference that Belfort would get $50,000 bonus for Knockout of the Night. Other $50,000 bonuses went Adriano Martins for Submission of the Night for his victory Darren Cruickshank, Omari Akhmedov and Thiago Perpetuo for Fight of the Night.

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UFC Fight Night 32 Results: Vitor Belfort Annihlates Dan Henderson

Photo from Yahoo Sports

Photo from Yahoo Sports

A lot was on the line for Vitor Belfort heading into tonight’s main event against Dan Henderson at UFC Fight Night 32. UFC President Dana White stated before the fight that with an impressive win he would get the winner of the middleweight title at UFC 168 next month between champion Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva. With a loss and Belfort wouldn’t get his opportunity. Belfort made the statement he needed tonight as he knocked out Dan Henderson 77 seconds into the fight.

The fight starts with both guys circling the cage trying to see who flinches first. Henderson leans in and tries a right hook and Belfort drops Henderson with a left uppercut. Belfrot pounces and starts raining ground and pond punches. Henderson then tries for triangle, but Belfort keeps throwing punches.

Henderson gets up Belfort throws a left high kick and Dan Miragliotta comes in and stops the fight as the crowd goes rabid for Belfort.

Belfort was evasive on what was next for him when asked by Jon Anik in the post-fight interview.

Vitor Belfort defeats Dan Henderson by knockout at 1:17 of Round 1.

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Watch The Preliminary Card Of UFC Fight Night 32 On BetweenTheRopes.com Starting At 5:30 PM ET

UFC Fight Night 32 takes place later today from the Goiania Arena in Goiania, Goias, Brazil. The main event features a rematch between two legends of the sport as Dan Henderson will battle Vitor Belfort. Before the main card takes place on Fox Sports 1 at 8 p.m., you can watch the preliminary card on BetweenTheRopes.com starting at 5:30 p.m.

Here is the preliminary portion of the card:

- Godofredo Pepey vs. Sam Sicilia
- Omari Akhmedov vs. Thiago Perpetuo
- Justin Salas vs. Thiago Tavares
- Daron Cruickshank vs. Adriano Martins
- Jose Maria vs. Dustin Ortiz

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MMA Podcast: UFC Fight Night 31, Bellator, Hendo vs. Belfort

Brian and Steve discuss Bellator 106 featuring Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler, UFC Fight Night 31 and Tim Kennedy getting a win despite a torn quad, this weekend’s UFC show featuring Dan Henderson vs. Vitor Belfort, Georges St. Pierre drug testing and more.

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Dan Henderson and Vitor Belfort Have Been Issued TRT Exemptions For UFC Fight Night 32

Photo from Yahoo Sports

Photo from Yahoo Sports

Dan Henderson and Vitor Belfort will battle in a rematch this Saturday in the main event of UFC Fight Night 32 from the Goiania Arena in Goiania, Goias, Brazil.

It has been confirmed by MMAJunkie.com that both Belfort and Henderson have been given TRT exemptions for their bout on Saturday.

Belfort has been more or less criticized intensely for being on TRT and fighting in Brazil for third straight fight and four of his last five affairs. People have speculated that the UFC is protecting Belfort by having him fight in Brazil, but UFC President Dana White has steadfast in saying that isn’t the case and the reason Belfort fights in Brazil is because he’s a draw there.

“The Phenom” has fought two times in Brazil this year defeating Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold by devasting head kick knockout wins.

Henderson has been granted a TRT exemption since 2007 and it has never been a big issue regarding his exemption. The former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion has last two fights in a row, having last fought at UFC 161 in defeat to Rashad Evans. Henderson wasn’t issued a TRT exemption for the Evans fight when “Hendo” didn’t send the application when he felt like the commission wasn’t going to approve it.

Belfort and Henderson fought the first time at Pride 32 in October of 2006, with Henderson winning by unanimous decision.

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Lyoto Machida Drops To 185 And Faces Tim Kennedy At UFC Fight For The Troops 3

It had been said since last year at UFC on Fox 4 when Lyoto Machida weighed in at 201 pounds for his fight against Ryan Bader that he could make 185 pounds. Now you will get the chance to see that.

UFC President Dana White announced on Fox Sports Live on Fox Sports 1 that Machida will make his debut in the middleweight division against Tim Kennedy at UFC Fight For The Troops 3.

That event will take place on Wednesday, November 6 at the Fort Campbell Army Base in Kentucky.

Machida last fought almost three weeks ago at UFC 163, where he lost a controversial split decision to Phil Davis. We had reported last week that Machida was rumored to fight Nick Diaz, but White stated last Saturday that the fight was off the table.

Kennedy most recently fought in July at UFC 162 when he defeated Roger Gracie by unanimous decision. A few weeks back, Kennedy called out Vitor Belfort, but Belfort had turned down the fight. The two time Strikeforce middleweight title challenger last week stated that he would be interested in fighting Machida.

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Chael Sonnen Signs New UFC Deal, Returning to Middleweight

sonnenChael Sonnen will be fighting for a while longer.

The former two-division contender announced on Fuel TV on Tuesday night that he has agreed to a new five-fight contract with the UFC that will have him return to the middleweight division following his light heavyweight matchup against Mauricio Rua on August 17.

Sonnen also said that he has changed training camps, leaving Team Quest in Portland, Oregon and has joined up with the Reign Training Center in Lake Forest, California where Mark Munoz is the head coach.

The 36-year-old fighter is current training for his about bout against Rua and hoping to end a two-fight losing streak.

Once that is over, he will move back down in weight and has already mentioned two people he would like to face at middleweight.

“There are two guys I want to get matched up with, first there’s Vitor Belfort because he’s awesome. And the second is Wanderlei (Silva), who I’ve just found out is going back to middleweight,” said Sonnen. “The landscape has completely changed. I have a new contract and I’m returning to the weight class.”