Morning Report: Chris Weidman and Ray Longo question fairness of Vitor Belfort's testosterone replacement therapy

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Vitor Belfort's noted detractors have now grown to include his next opponent. UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, along with his chief striking coach and trainer Ray Longo, have begun opening up on their stance toward's Belfort's use of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) leading up to a title bout this spring. Belfort, who has been undergoing TRT since his 2011 bout with Anderson Silva, has previously been issued a therapeutic-use exemption (TUE) allowing him to continue competing while undergoing treatment.

"I know Chris is beating the guy but why give him an advantage?" Longo told ESPN. "Why does he deserve that? All he did was abuse his body with steroids so that now he needs the exemption. It's bull****."

Belfort's past transgressions now come into play. Having tested positive in 2006 for 4-hydroxytestosterone while competing in Nevada, Belfort would be forced to lobby for the TUE with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) before being licensed. The governing body has a policy of not allowing a TUE for TRT if that individual's needs derive from past non-sanctioned use. According to Weidman, Belfort's continued TRT creates an unlevel playing field. (via FOX Sports)

"He's failed a drug test before. He's on TRT now. I don't agree with TRT to begin with, so him failing a drug test and being on TRT, I don't really like it," he said. "So I appreciate there will be a commission making sure he's doing things right. I don't have high testosterone at all. I'm completely fine. I guarantee his testosterone on TRT is two or three times higher than mine. I wake up and I work hard two or three times a day. I don't feel that there's a need for it, and if it comes to point where you need it, then you retire, you don't fight. Fighting is a sport where strength is important, and if you're going to have extra testosterone, especially after you've been caught cheating, it's unfair."

Depending on Weidman's health, the title bout with Belfort is tentatively slotted for Las Vegas, Nevada in May or July, possibly coinciding with the UFC's Fourth of July weekend. As the promotion historically books large Vegas events (UFC 100, UFC 148, UFC 162) for the holiday, Weidman vs. Belfort would seem to fit the bill.

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

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'Unfair advantage.' Michael Bisping says pausing TRT for a single fight shouldn't be much of an effect on Vitor Belfort because he'll still have an edge.

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MEDIA STEW

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TWEETS

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Jan. 3-5 2014)

John Hathaway vs. Dong Hyun Kim at TUF China Finale

cancelled Gilbert Melendez vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 170

Shawn Jordan vs. Matt Mitrione at TUF China Finale

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Erik Koch vs. Rafaello Oliveira at UFC 170

cancelled Nate Loughran vs. Erick Silva at UFC Fight Night 36

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Rick Story vs. Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 171

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via Da Headbanger.

Lessons Learned and Matches to Make After UFC Fight Night 34

There were certainly some disappointing fights as one fight ended via DQ before the first round even ended and there was a major stinker on the undercard. But considering how well the main event went, I don't think the UFC was disappointed in how their first card strictly available on the new UFC Fight Pass went.

Tarec Saffiedine and Hyun Gyu Lim both laid it out on the line and gave the fans everything they can ask for. Even though it went all 25 minutes, there were plenty of close stoppages and even a premature celebration from Saffiedine. It was clear that Saffiedine was going to walk out the winner, but Lim pushed himself further than he has before and is bound to grow from the fight as well. Throw in the fact that long time Japanese legend Tatsuya Kawajiri had a successful debut by stoppage which means everything that really mattered went well for the UFC.

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Check out the rest of the post here.

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Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.

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