Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort now have an (official) date with destiny.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto announced over the weekend that the two men will square off on May 24th, in the fight capital of the world, Las Vegas.
“BREAKING: Chris Weidman will defend his UFC middleweight title belt vs. Vitor Belfort on May 24 in Las Vegas. (via @bokamotoESPN) — SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 2, 2014 ”
And while the news of an MMA event being hosted in Las Vegas isn’t usually noteworthy, this time around, things are a little different.
Currently enjoying a new lease on his professional life, “The Phenom” has seen his most recent run at the championship immersed in controversy, as his use of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) and the reinvigoration of his career seem to be running in parallel. And while Belfort has had no issues undergoing therapy in Canada or Brazil (where his last 5 fights have coincidentally been hosted), doing so in the state of Nevada will prove to be a much larger set of hurdles to jump, due to Belfort’s prior steroid use and his need to obtain an exemption-status from the NSAC.
One of the seemingly insurmountable “hurdles” that Belfort will be facing is the (mandatory) signing of an affidavit, certifying that he has never used performance-enhancing drugs, which, according to an NSAC judgment, he has. That is, unless the NSAC decides to allow Belfort to circumvent this step.
All eyes will undoubtedly be on the commission in the coming weeks, as their decision in this matter could set the standard for which all future cases are measured.
Whether or not Belfort obtains his TRT exemption-status, he will be facing a daunting challenge in Weidman, the undefeated middleweight ruler who recently dethroned Anderson Silva not once, but twice, with both fights ending in shocking and brutal fashion.
This fight, along with its ramifications on the future of TRT in the sport of mixed martial arts, will surely be one of the biggest stories of the year; stay tuned to BJPenn.com for any and all future updates.