Vitor Belfort Out Of UFC 173 Title Fight, Lyoto Machida Stepping In

After it was announced on Thursday that the Nevada State Athletic Commission has chosen to ban testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) as well as remove any previously approved exemptions for athletes already using the treatment, the UFC has decided to make a monumental change to their upcoming fight card in May.

UFC officials announced on “FOX Sports Live” late Thursday night that Vitor Belfort will no longer fight at UFC 173 following the ruling on TRT and in his place the promotion will now pit Lyoto Machida against Chris Weidman in the main event with the middleweight title up for grabs.

Belfort said this in a statement:

“The Nevada State Athletic Commission recently altered its policy and no longer will permit testosterone use exemptions, and will not permit a TRT program, As other jurisdictions may follow suit, I am going to drop my TRT program and compete in MMA without it.Given the time constraints involved between now and my proposed next bout in May, I have determined not to apply for a license to fight in Nevada at this time.”

Machida is now stepping into the main event at UFC 173 following two impressive performances since dropping down to the middleweight division last year. The former light heavyweight champion knocked out Mark Munoz in his 185-pound debut before winning a unanimous decision over former Strikeforce champ Gegard Mousasi earlier in February.

Machida had this to say on his upcoming fight:

“I’m really excited for this opportunity to fight UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, I’m going to train hard and be prepared for this fight.”

UFC 173: Weidman vs. Machida will go down May 24 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

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