I hate to speculate, but today’s news can’t possibly be good for UFC’s one-time “phenom” Vitor Belfort (14-8 MMA, 7-4 UFC).
Belfort tested positive for anabolic steroids following PRIDE Fighting Championship’s Oct. 21 event in Las Vegas (my initial post is here). It was Belfort’s third fight in PRIDE since he left UFC following a split-decision loss to Tito Ortiz at UFC 51. That loss to Ortiz was Belfort’s third in his last five UFC matches, and he’s since lost three of his five fights outside the UFC.
Belfort, who lost by unanimous decision to Dan Henderson in the Oct. 21 PRIDE fight, tested positive for 4-hydroxytestosterone in the post-fight drug test. He claimed he took a supplement called “Max Tribustak” that, unbeknownst to him, actually contained anabolic steroids, which resulted in the failed test. He wrote a letter to the Nevada Athletic Commission to explain the situation, and he was expected to face a disciplinary hearing via teleconference today.
However, according to a story in today’s Las Vegas Review-Journal, Belfort was a no-show for the scheduled hearing:
[The Nevada Athletic Commission] also tabled the hearing for mixed martial artist Vitor Belfort, who also tested positive for an anabolic steroid on the Oct. 21 card. Belfort didn’t dispute the finding in a telephone conversation with executive director Keith Kizer prior to the hearing, but said it was due to taking a supplement.
But Belfort, who was in Brazil, failed to join the teleconference.
There was no immediate explanation for Belfort’s absence from the hearing.
Regardless, a return to the UFC for the organization’s once-rising superstar seems even more unlikely at this point.
(GracieMag.com also reported this story earlier today, but for unknown reasons, removed it from the site.)