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« | Home | »

Testosterone MMA HOF grows as backers ramp up the rhetoric

By Zach Arnold | March 23, 2012

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Last night, Spike TV aired a segment on Testosterone Replacement Therapy. They had over 500,000 viewers watch it. Josh Gross, earlier this week on ESPN Radio, hosted a roundtable show on testosterone use in MMA. The New York Daily News ran a Victor Conte op-ed on Rampage Jackson’s infamous Fighters Only interview about using testosterone from an ‘age management doctor’ while fighting on the UFC Japan card.

Don’t think the T story is picking up steam in media circles? I told you this was only the beginning. Again, I’ll repeat what I’ve said before — the T issue is a losing one for promoters and it’s an even bigger loser for fighters. Keith Kizer can embarrass himself by talking about how testosterone usage amongst MMA fighters shouldn’t be a scarlet letter and that he doesn’t want to violate basic human rights all he wants. The fact is that his spin, IMO, is not holding up well.

How can you tell it’s a losing issue for fighters? Rampage opened his mouth again and said testosterone critics suffer from a ’slave mentality’ against such users. He actually managed to outdo Kizer on this front. The hyperbolic responses from both men should tell you a whole lot about who has the losing hand here.

Mike Chiappetta at MMA Fighting has an article talking about the link between concussions & low testosterone. Mike dropped a little item in his article that, reportedly, Shane Roller is the newest member of the testosterone brigade. Given that we don’t know anything about TUE exemptions or PED suspensions from state commissions like New Jersey which don’t release such information, this is the public list so far of testosterone users:

If you had those guys on your roster, you could put on a show tomorrow that draws fairly well. These guys are names in the business. These aren’t undercard nobodies. That’s what makes the development of the T story so damning – the big boys are using it. You can’t cover that up.

Not included on the ‘official’ list – Joe Rogan, who on September 11th, 2007 talked about turning 40 years old:

Now, I don’t “look” or “feel” like the average 40 that I see because I work out constantly and take a fuck load of supplements (including hormone replacement therapy) to keep my body healthy – but the reality is no matter how you slice it, I’m fucking 40.

On one hand our perceptions of what’s possible at an older age have definitely been changed by modern athletes that compete at the highest level WAY later than they did decades in the past because of the advances in science and nutrition. For example, one of the baddest motherfuckers on the planet, the UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture is 44 years old, baseball’s homerun king Barry Bonds is 43, and boxing’s light heavyweight champion of the world and one of the best pound for pound fighters alive, Bernard Hopkins is 42. When I was 15 a 40-year-old athlete might as well be dead.

“40 is the new 30!” Whatever the fuck that means.

Joe has had foot-in-mouth disease on this topic before in relation to Randy Couture.

Ben Fowlkes adroitly noted on Friday that the UFC’s hands-off spin about testosterone usage in MMA is disingenuous given that they’ll pick a fight with anybody over anything – New York MMA legislation, Oklahoma taxes, fan piracy, their own fighters, so on and so forth.

Yesterday on Spike’s TRT segment, Mike Straka gave his second biggest whopper to date on the show (him claiming I work for Cage Potato was the biggest whopper) by claiming that Dana White has come out on multiple occasions against TRT usage. FALSE. As Warner Wolf would say, let’s go to the tape!

“If you take a guy who’s talented enough to be in the UFC, right? he’s talented enough to be in the UFC yet for some stupid reason this guy’s using or abusing [Performance Enhancing Drugs]. What it does is the long terms effect of this… when guys get off it, they stop producing testosterone. It [expletive] with guys mentally, physically, emotionally, it does so much damage to a professional athlete… there’s no way in hell we want guys coming in doing this stuff. The problem is, it happens. It’s happening now and what we want to try to do is stop this before it gets, you know, to a point where, you know… young guys get damaged and could have, you know, gone on and had great careers in the UFC.”

The UFC knows the T issue is a hot potato but hasn’t come out against it. After all, Rampage & Marquardt have fought on foreign UFC shows ‘regulated’ by the promotion during time periods where the men in question said they were using T. Jim Miller, who’s brother Dan fought Marquardt before the fiasco blew up in Pennsylvania with Nate’s situation, called T usage for what it is — a performance-enhancer. Jim’s trainer, Mike Constantino, also came out and blasted TRT usage. Dr. Johnny Benjamin was featured as well in the Spike segment and called testosterone usage in MMA for what it is. Dennis Hallman played the role of being the sympathetic spokesman for TRT usage. Clips of Chael Sonnen proclaiming TRT to be legal were also aired.

However, the most effective part of the Spike TRT segment came from a short two-minute interview between Craig Carton & Dr. Armand Dorian. The good doctor talked about the risk of testosterone usage in relation to increasing your chances of getting cancer. Doc was starting to talk about how serious hypogonadism is but found himself agreeing with virtually all of the premises Craig mentioned regarding how the majority of fans see TRT as PED usage and how testosterone is, in fact, a performance-enhancer that works.

Go out of your way to watch the Spike TRT segment because it was well-done in regards to taking a complicated subject and boiling it down to what your gut told you testosterone usage was (good or bad) in the first place. The issue is a loser for promoters and a bigger loser for fighters, which is why the backers & users of testosterone in MMA are squealing like pigs headed for slaughter.

Topics: MMA, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold | 14 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

14 Responses to “Testosterone MMA HOF grows as backers ramp up the rhetoric”

  1. Jason Harris says:

    So of all of the guys you listed, it’s 4 UFC fighters (out of what, 400 on roster)? and only 2 of them have looked particularly good in the last 2 years.

    Where is the evidence that this is turning guys into murder machines, again?

    • Wonderjudas says:

      “So of all of the guys you listed, it’s 4 UFC fighters (out of what, 400 on roster)? ”

      There is no claim made that this list is complete.

      “Where is the evidence that this is turning guys into murder machines, again?”

      Again, you fail to cite your sources and identify where Zach claimed that this was the consequence of using TRT.

      • Jason Harris says:

        Have you been reading the articles? The entire last paragraph of the last article was how someone on T was going to kill someone else and it was going to make the UFC look bad.

    • RST says:

      Being hopped up on juice doesn’t make you a more skilled fighter.

      And even if juicing up only makes them artificially charged up enough to be competitive, its still cheating.

      Its cheating the opponent out of a fair test of all the work and training that he sacrificed for naturally.

      And they should be shunned.

      Let them start their own TRT promotion then.

      They’re tainting the image of the sport and all the honestly talented athletes on roster.

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    How about SpikeTV does a segment on Bellator going to Indian Reservations that don’t even drug test. And how Bellator doesn’t even test themselves at those locations.

    That is a far bigger story then this one.

    • edub says:

      Nope, it’s no where close.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        You are right.

        One is legal both federally and by the athletic commissions.

        The other is not testing for illegal drug use.

        Totally different ballpark.

        • anthony says:

          true but why would spike make bellator look bad?

        • edub says:

          Yep, one is done over a few events in Bellator, which is also done in many other promotions.

          The other isn’t accepted in any other major sport or the Olympics.

  3. EJ says:

    Saw the piece and like mostly everything having to do with MMA Uncensored I wasn’t impressed. If you’re actually going to do a real piece on a subject how about not having a set take on the subject and actually looking it at from all angles. But that would ruin the hysteria some people have with the subject, it’s really become ridiculous how obssessed and insane some people in mma are becoming with this.

  4. Fightlinker says:

    what, with everyone doing steroids?

  5. [...] When Dan Henderson beat Fedor last year, I stated that his win would start to create acceptance by power brokers in the sport for the usage of Testosterone. Don’t think that’s the case? Look at the testosterone MMA hall of fame: [...]

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