SAO PAULO -- Vitor Belfort takes on Dan Henderson in the main event of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 77 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, but he had to answer a lot of questions regarding his controversial pre-UFC 152 drug test in 2012.
Belfort’s pre-fight drug test results reportedly came back with elevated testosterone levels at that time, but the promotion didn’t stop the Brazilian from fighting 205-pound champion Jon Jones days later in Canada.
Talking to the media at the UFC Fight Night 77 media day on Thursday, Belfort says there was nothing wrong with his exams, and he had just started undergoing testosterone replacement therapy.
"I was under a medical treatment and my doctors dealt with it together with the UFC," Belfort told the media. "The truth is I always shared my exams with the UFC, so there was no problem. I fought under the commission’s approval, with UFC’s approval. There was nothing under the table.
"After the TRT ban, I always followed the rules, but people didn’t understand. MMA decided to ban it, so it’s over."
At 38 years old, "The Phenom" is sure his reputation won’t be damaged.
"No way," he responded. "It tarnishes one’s reputation when you hide things, but when you don’t have anything to hide, people like it. I have nothing to hide, I shared my exams. Some people understand it, others don’t, but it’s a medical condition. I still need the treatment, but I can’t have it, so I keep training and working.
"I don’t think (it damages UFC’s image) too. Like Jesus said, throw the first rock who never did anything wrong. I believe everyone in the world has done something wrong but that’s not a reason to crucify them. People pay for their mistakes. An organization can’t lose value because of some cases, and neither can an athlete. Everyone makes mistakes."
And after meeting with presidential candidate Ben Carson in his gym, Belfort says he learned an important lesson ahead of fight week obligations with the media.
"Every time I fight people will always try to bring something to make it harder. I learned something with Dr. Carson, the future president of the United States. He said ‘Vitor, the hardest thing to deal with is something you can’t control. I can’t control what you’re going to ask me and with story you’re going to write, so I take what it’s good from this and leave the rest.
"There was an American journalist threatening me and the UFC. He said ‘I have this e-mail’, and I told him ‘you can share that if you want’. This e-mail was sent to other fighters and they all had it, they knew it. That’s nothing new. It was only put in a story to sell."