Testosterone Replacement Therapy banned from UFC
Aging fighters may be left behind
Shawn Fierce McPherson
The idea that all fighters are on steroids is a common misconception. However, no longer will anyone be able to utilize TRT. What is TRT you ask? It is testosterone replacement therapy often used by aging fighters such as Chael Sonnen, Randy Couture and many more. TRT is often used to speed up recovery after an injury. Then there are just those fighters looking for an extra advantage.
Until recently, athletic commissions around the world gave permission to fighters to use certain amounts, but that time has passed. As a fan, I am glad to see things are becoming fairer for the fighters. Who knows, maybe one day we will see the inception of an old guy’s league where TRT use is unlimited. Think Randy Couture vs. Mark Coleman 2.
This hits Vitor Belfort the hardest. Recent ultra impressive head-kick wins earned Belfort a title shot against Chris Weidman, but unfortunately for Belfort, during those fights his TRT levels were higher than Charlie Sheen on a binge night. Additionally, all those fights were in Brazil and the title fight had been scheduled to go down in Vegas. After the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) new stance on TRT, Belfort became a liability and was replaced by fellow Brazilian Lyoto Machida. On the bright side, Belfort will fit in fine with the other old guys in my fictitious old timers league.
Then there are performance enhancing drugs (PED), also known as steroids that are unfortunately, all too common in the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA). It seems after every card, you wait with fingers crossed that your favourite fighters do not test positive for any banned substance. Depending on how many times they have tested positive in the past, they could be suspended for up to a year, have their win overturned to a no contest and/or losing any bonus money earned. Potential suspensions by the fight commission or being released from the UFC are also distinct possibilities and let us not forget losing credibility with fans.
In the case of Sean Sherk, failing his drug tests meant the loss of his lightweight title. Sherk argued that there was a mistake with the test, but nothing was overturned and his title was subsequently revoked. I wanted to believe him, but in his following fights Sherk appeared dramatically smaller, so I guess where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
So why does everyone keep trying to cheat the system when they know being tested is unavoidable? My theory is they stop using shortly before they are tested and simply hope they are clean. All the negative publicity is not about to go away. It is good to know that the real champs of the past and present never have or had an issue such as BJ Penn, Anderson Silva, Jose Aldo, GSP or Chuck Liddel.