GOIANIA, Brazil – UFC Fight Night 32 headliners Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson will be on a level playing field when it comes to testosterone-replacement therapy on Saturday night.
Both Belfort (23-10 MMA, 12-6 UFC) and Henderson (29-10 MMA, 6-4 UFC) were issued therapeutic-use exemptions for TRT for their main event in Brazil, sources close to the situation told MMAjunkie.com. Both fighters have been issued TUEs in the past.
UFC Fight Night 32 takes place Saturday at Goiania Arena in Goiania, Goias, Brazil. The main card airs on FOX Sports 1 (8 p.m. ET) following prelims on MMAjunkie.com (5:15 p.m. ET). Belfort and Henderson were the only fighters on the card granted a TUE.
Belfort arguably has been MMA’s unwitting poster boy for TRT in recent months, coming under fire for everything from his use of the treatment and admission of it to the reason he now will be fighting in his native Brazil for the the straight time. Critics say that’s so the UFC can let him skirt testosterone limits put in place by commissions in the States, charges that UFC President Dana White has vehemently denied – explaining that Belfort headlining cards in Brazil is just good business because of his popularity there.
The former UFC light heavyweight champion has won two straight fights with “Knockout of the Night” head kicks, the first coming against Michael Bisping in January before stopping Luke Rockhold in May. Both fights came in Brazil following a light heavyweight title loss to Jon Jones a little more than a year ago. He has won four of his past five and nine of his past 11, with the only losses coming in title fights to Jones and Anderson Silva at middleweight.
The fight with Henderson will be a rematch from an October 2006 loss at PRIDE 32, which took place in Las Vegas.
Henderson has been granted TUEs since 2007. For his fight against Rashad Evans in June in Winnipeg, Manitoba, he pulled his application to use TRT when he said “it didn’t look like they would approve it,” so “I just quit taking the testosterone.”
Henderson lost that fight by split decision, his second straight by a split call after a February loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC 157. Before that, Henderson had four straight wins and seven in eight fights. He won three straight to close out his second stint in the UFC, then went to Strikeforce, where he lost a middleweight title fight to Jake Shields. But he rebounded from that loss to win the light heavyweight title there, then beat legendary Fedor Emelianenko in a heavyweight fight before returning to the UFC for a classic win over Mauricio Rua in November 2011 prior to the Machida and Evans losses.
For more on UFC Fight Night 32, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Vitor Belfort)