Vitor Belfort's lawyer says drug test results not relevant, Zuffa pulled Belfort from UFC 173

Ethan Miller

It does not appear as though Vitor Belfort will willingly release the results of his Feb. 7 drug test in Nevada any time soon.

MMAFighting.com sent Belfort's lawyer, Neal Tabachnick, several questions regarding Thursday's news of him getting replaced by Lyoto Machida in the UFC 173 main event against Chris Weidman.

1) Can you release the results of the drug test Vitor Belfort was asked to take by the Nevada Athletic Commission on Feb. 7?

NT: The test is not relevant as Vitor is not applying for a license to fight in Nevada at this time. The reason for Zuffa replacing Vitor with Lyoto for the May 2014 middleweight championship bout was because of the Commission’s change in direction on TRT/TUE yesterday. Zuffa felt that with this change at the Commission, there is no time for Vitor to drop his TRT program, secure a license for a May 2014 bout and leave Zuffa with time to properly promote the bout.

2) Did Belfort fail the drug test?

NT: See above.

3) Why did Befort's statement, posted Friday on his Facebook page, seem to contradict the one attributed to him on last night's episode of "FOX Sports Live"?

NT: Vitor was only correcting the mischaracterization of the situation as him withdrawing from the bout. Zuffa decided that with the sea change in rules by the Commission, that there was no time to address it, get Vitor licensed, and promote the event. Vitor did not wish to withdraw from the bout, as some in the media have suggested.

4) Did he voluntarily remove himself from the UFC 173 title fight or did the UFC do so?

NT: The UFC made the switch. It was not Vitor’s choice. Vitor respects the Commission’s ruling as to TRT and TUE, has dropped his TRT program as of yesterday, and is fully prepared to fight the winner of the Weidman/Machida fight without his TRT program. That’s the focus.

5) Is he willing to conduct an interview about this matter?

NT: Not at this time.

MMAFighting.com then sent Tabachnick three more questions, however, Tabachnick has yet to reply:

6) When do you expect Belfort to apply for a license in Nevada and do you foresee any issues with that?

7) Will Belfort or someone on his team ever release the Feb. 7 drug test results?

8) Why did Vitor take the drug test on Feb. 7 if he's not licensed in Nevada and had yet to apply for one?

Later, Belfort posted this message on his Instagram page:

"I want to apologize to all my fans that have been let down by the news of me not competing in the title fight against Chris Weidman. I wanted nothing more than to go and compete for the belt. As you all know, I have been doing a legal treatment approved by every commission I fight under called TRT for a health deficiency that I have. As of yesterday the Nevada commission banned the use of TRT. I am not exempt from the rules. I respect the Commission’s ruling, and have dropped my TRT program as of yesterday. My body wouldn't have had enough time to acclimate and I wouldn't be able to meet the new requirements of the commission swiftly enough to be licensed for the main bout and permit the UFC sufficient time to promote it. I am prepared to fight for the championship belt without my TRT program.

"I look forward to competing under the new set of regulations. I want to thank all my fans, the UFC, and all the commissions for their unwavering support and I will come back stronger than ever! I'm waiting for the winner."

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