After plenty of campaigning and several proposed fights, Vitor Belfort finally has his next bout booked, as he’ll take on Dan Henderson, November 9th in Brazil. While many fans are likely excited to see two of the sport’s biggest names throw down for a second time (Henderson handed Belfort a decision loss in 2006), where the fight is taking place is also prompting plenty of discussion.
The reason being is that Belfort has been scheduled to fight three consecutive times now in Brazil, and four of his last five fights will have taken place in his native country. Other than when he battled Jon Jones at UFC 152 in Toronto, Ontario, last September, Belfort hasn’t fought outside of Brazil since 2011. Ordinarily this wouldn’t be cause for much attention, but because Belfort’s cleared for testosterone-replacement-therapy in Brazil, some fans and critics have been questioning the UFC’s scheduling practices (which Dana White doesn’t care for).
In a recent appearance on “The MMA Hour“, Belfort predictably shot down the idea that he’s been fighting in Brazil because of his TRT exemption, and the argument his treatments aren’t being rigorously monitored.
“A lot of fighters are on TRT right now, (but) everybody’s saying that’s why I fight there,” Belfort said. “But I believe the reason why I fight in Brazil is because I sell a lot in Brazil. I miss fighting in Las Vegas and other places, but I don’t see any problems that I’m not fighting (there) because I sell big in Brazil. Makes sense for them and makes sense for me.”
“Brazil is the only place that they do blood tests after the fight,” the 36 year-old added, while referring to Henderson, who has also been cleared for TRT use previously. “Now, I’m fighting a guy who’s on TRT too. They are very surprised that they will have to test blood too. Two months before the fight I have to do blood tests, at least once a month. I do that on my own every week too. It’s important. I’m just trying to be fair with everybody and also with myself.”
Although it’s a compelling and important fight, chances are the TRT issue is going to continue to grab headlines heading into the bout. UFC Fight Night 32 is expected to go down at the Goiania Arena, Goias, Brazil.