MMA Odds and Ends for Tuesday: Details Emerge About Belfort’s 2012 Drug Test

Vitor BelfortIt was a slow day in MMA on Monday, and that made the timing of Josh Gross’ A Sketchy Drug Test… all the more potent. Gross brought some documents to light from back in 2012 prior to Jon Jones defending his light heavyweight title against Vitor Belfort that are fairly damning for the UFC. First a UFC paralegal sent out some of Belfort’s drug test results in error to a slew of fighters, managers, and other around the sport. That was followed by a panicked attempt to recall the message, including a request to delete it, and that was then followed by a stern warning from Lawrence Epstein, the UFC’s lawyer at the time, to not make the documents public. Obviously the information contained within these documents was deemed pretty serious by the UFC, and that’s because the results showed that Belfort had extremely high testosterone ratios prior to facing Jones. Now, this doesn’t come as a shock, since Belfort after miraculously bulking back up to 205lbs in a matter of months looked far more like his 1999 self than his 2009 self. The shocking part of this was that the UFC, who oversaw Belfort’s then-unknown therapeutic use exemption for testosterone (which was made public five months later), did absolutely nothing about the abnormal test results, lest they lose a second Jon Jones main event in a row. This issue calls into question the years that the UFC self-regulated outside of the United States. If Belfort was allowed to fight with elevated testosterone against Jones, what went on in events in England, Brazil, or other countries lacking commissions. The UFC has long put on a front about wanting to “clean up the sport” but it seems it was (is?) exactly that. Having the appearance of wanting a clean sport is good for the public image, but when it comes down to it, the UFC is about making money, and if that means letting something like this fall through the cracks, that’s what they’ll do. The other interesting nugget relating to this scenario is that none of the “major” MMA news outlets have followed up on Gross’ report since it was published. Josh Gross has not been credentialed by the UFC in a decade (since he leaked the results of the original TUF, I believe), and thus he is in a position where he can publish a story like this without fear of reprisal from the organization. If MMA Junkie or MMA Fighting (essentially UFC PR partners) ran with the story, it would be interesting to see what sort of fallout emerged, but that is unlikely to happen.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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