RIO DE JANEIRO -- Vitor Belfort is back.
Scheduled to compete for the middleweight championship at UFC 173 on May 24, Belfort was pulled out of the fight after TRT was banned by Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC). He claims he has been cleared to compete, and wants to fight Chris Weidman for the title at UFC 175 in July.
"I did all the tests that Nevada requires," Belfort told MMAFighting.com. "I did it on my own, and I passed them all. There is nothing in my system anymore. God has blessed me. I’m ready now, and I’m waiting.
"Since they canceled (Weidman vs. Machida) in May, there is nothing else to do. Give me what is mine."
Belfort is not officially cleared by the NSAC yet, but he plans to meet with the commission "soon" to ask for a license.
"I’m doing it really soon," he said. "The important is that I’m doing everything by the rules."
Weidman vs. Machida is signed for UFC 175, so Belfort expects to fight the winner of this fight later in 2014, although he knows he might need to fight one more time before challenging the champion.
"Anything can happen in the UFC," he said. "Dan Henderson will fight for the title if he wins his next fight. Anything can happen in the UFC. I have to fight and I have to win. That’s what matters.
"I’m not worried about who wins that fight, actually," Belfort said of Weidman-Machida. "I’m focused on what I have to do every day. I just trained today, now I’m here (at Arnold Classic Brazil), and I’m going to train again tomorrow morning. That’s what I do."
Even with TRT off the table, Belfort expects to continue impressing inside the Octagon.
"Everything was an excuse to my opponents, and they won’t have it anymore," he said. "It’s the opposite now, they will be at an advantage. (I used) TRT to be at their levels. They will lose now and won’t have any excuses."