Vitor Belfort has been pulled from UFC 173, but the middleweight says it was not his decision.
Belfort and the the UFC are engaged in a back and forth about why he won’t be participating in the bout. Hours after the UFC announced that Lyoto Machida will replace Belfort in a title fight with Chris Weidman on May 24 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Belfort posted a statement on his Facebook page on the subject.
Belfort acknowledge that he had to give up the fight after the UFC decided to go along with the NSAC decided to ban the testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) on Thursday.
“Vitor Belfort didn’t give up on the fight,” he wrote, “he was forced to give up.
“I never gave up on UFC 173 fight and never said that. Any information about it in the media is not true. What I said was that I’ll ‘quit on TRT’, and not ‘quit on the fight’, to continue my dream to fight.”
Belfort says that he needed more time to get ready for a fight without the use of TRT, and he expects to fight the winner of Weidman vs. Machida when he returns.
“The UFC has decided to put another opponent in my place because of the fact that I won’t have time to suit NSAC’s new rules,” he said. “According to the UFC, I will fight the winner of Weidman vs. Lyoto under the athletic commission new rules.
“I’m sorry that it happened and I appreciate the strength and understanding of all the fans, sponsors, UFC and the athletic commissions.”