Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) and similar blood test drama that has swirled around UFC 175 has captured mixed martial arts (MMA) headlines in recent weeks.
And we can thank Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva for the hijinks.
"The Phenom" failed a random out-of-competition screen earlier this year (see staggering level discrepancy here), but was not licensed at the time of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC)-administered test. He came clean yesterday with a statement that explained the situation (read it here) ahead of a license hearing planned for June 17, 2014.
Belfort is attempting to return to action against Chael Sonnen on Fourth of July weekend at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. It's a 205-pound showdown (or maybe 185 pounds) with the No. 1 Middleweight contender position on the line (or not really), all made possible because the aforementioned Silva "dodged" his random NSAC drug test (read UFC's statement here).
That's right, fighters: Fail, don't duck!
Naturally, UFC threw its generic support behind Belfort hours after the embattled Brazilian released his statement with its own version:
"The UFC organization supports Vitor Belfort's application for a license to compete in Nevada, and we respect the Nevada Athletic Commission and its licensing process. Pending Commission approval, we look forward to a great fight between Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen at UFC 175 on July 5."
Not a ringing, passionate endorsement, but one that was most likely necessary because there is no Plan C in place for Sonnen if Belfort is not granted a license to compete.
Even though Silva, sadly, still thinks he is in the running.