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« | Home | »

Testosterone tidal wave keeps gaining energy

By Zach Arnold | June 12, 2012

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When the Alistair Overeem news broke a couple of months ago regarding his now infamous ‘tetra mix’ shot w/ testosterone, I noted that there were plenty of big MMA name fighters that would eventually be outed as new testosterone users. The reason some in the know can’t reveal who is using what is due to legal reasons. In other words, you have to wait for the fighters themselves or for the proper authorities to make the disclosures.

I had promised that the testosterone drip torture treatment would soon happen for MMA fans and now it’s starting to snowball. Frank Mir was just the latest to get a hall pass from Keith Kizer’s crew in Nevada to use T. Nate Marquardt mysteriously decided that, after proclaiming his need for testosterone to have a normal life, he now suddenly doesn’t want the hassle of using it any longer.

And now we have Rich Franklin floating a public trial balloon to gauge reaction to whether or not he should go ahead and use testosterone. Not because he needs testosterone to function in daily life but because, according to the man himself, testosterone could help prolong his MMA career. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, right?

The fighters are desperate for using testosterone. It doesn’t increase their ability to win fights but it does increase their power and their ability to inflict damage upon an opponent. Fighter longer also means they absorb more trauma in the process, too. We know what the four main reasons are for low testosterone issues amongst active combat sports athletes – anabolic steroid usage, bad weight cutting, heavy usage of pain killers, and/or brain damage from concussions.

The proliferation of mark doctors, who are remarkably proud and boastful about their connections with fighters which results in writing prescriptions for testosterone, are more than happy to be a hook-up. We’ve seen doctors of all stripes, from General Practitioners to age management specialists, who have done their so-called buddies favors. It’s also easy to get a prescription if you want to get on testosterone. Use steroids or testosterone, get your blood levels checked a few weeks later to get a low testosterone reading, and get your prescription for testosterone. Forget the debate about primary vs. secondary hypogonadism since few people want to go there in the first place.

Then you have the promoters who say they’re against PED usage in the sport but then proclaim that the state athletic commissions are doing a good job of monitoring & allowing testosterone usage for fighters. Testosterone is the base chemical of anabolic steroids. If there wasn’t a performance enhancing benefit to using testosterone, nobody would want to use it. So, of course, the usage of testosterone and the way it’s handled by athletic commissions is a form of legalized doping.

With the athletic commissions, you have the enablers who are giving a thin veneer of credibility. Of course, given the issues with commissions like California and Nevada, whatever credibility that was left is largely out the window at this point due to the bureaucrats in power. With the commissions seeing declining revenues and on the receiving end of… suggestions… from third parties that they better allow fighters to use testosterone or else they won’t fight in that state, you end up with the testosterone tidal wave that continues to pick up energy.

It’s hard for veteran MMA fans to explain to new MMA fans how the drug climate in MMA is any different than in sports like horse racing or cycling where doping is rampant. There’s plenty of veterinary drugs to go around.

Back to Rich Franklin’s trial balloon for a second. In the comments he made on The MMA Hour show, you notice how he flatly admits that he’s still healthy and has no critical need for testosterone? His admission blows all the excuses right out of the water for the testosterone pushers in the MMA industry who proclaim that lots of adult males suffer from low testosterone levels and that there’s nothing wrong with using testosterone as an active fighter.

The testosterone pushers put defenders of Mixed Martial Arts in a hell of a box. For years, MMA boosters have been arguing that the sport is safer than boxing and other athletic endeavors. However, with the proliferation of big name fighters who have been outed as testosterone users, considering the usage of testosterone, or using testosterone in the shadows, how can anyone with a straight face make the argument that MMA is a safe sport to compete in and market on a mainstream level?

This is where the testosterone pushers must be called out on their bluff. Either the sport is incredibly dangerous compared to other athletic endeavors and has major, unresolved problems that should prevent it from being mainstream like baseball & basketball… or… the sport is safe and the guys using testosterone under the guise of needing the drug usage to function as human beings are doing so for the purposes of doping. This either-or conclusion is damning one way or another to the image of the industry, and rightfully so.

Also take note that Rich Franklin said he has talked to doctors who work for the UFC about using testosterone. Yep.

For the record, a distinction must be made between those who want to see steroid usage legalized for all versus the testosterone pushers who hide behind the facade that so many fighters have low testosterone levels that they simply can’t function as human beings. There’s a difference here.

Which brings us to comments Randy Couture made on Inside MMA about testosterone usage. His comments were brief but intriguing, to say the least. Couture said that he got his blood levels tested and that he took supplements to boost his testosterone levels. He promoted XCAP supplements, which is his label that he promotes. Two of the products under the XCAP brand are Rigid T and IGF Blast. Rigid T allegedly boosts testosterone and IGF Blast is for growth hormone benefits. What caught my eye about the Rigid T product is that it lists velvet deer antler extract as an ingredient. Yahoo Sports profiled recent usage of deer antler as a PED in sports and there are a multitude of articles asking if deer antler is the new sophisticated PED in sports. You can’t make this up, this deer antler -> testosterone connection. You can only detect its usage by blood testing, not with urine testing. Naturally, Keith Kizer says urine testing is better than blood testing for detection of drug usage.

When it comes to the issue of supplements, it’s hard to figure out what’s what. The recent example of what happened to BodyBuilding.com is a perfect example.

I am reminded of this Luke Thomas post in 2009 focusing in on Randy Couture and his comments about ‘blood chemistry.’ Before the debate over testosterone usage raged in the MMA community leading to what we know now, the comments section on that post are quite eye-opening to read.

The doctor who works with top MMA fighters to check their blood levels is “The Blood Doc” John Fitzgerald. He works with Randy Couture for the XCAP supplements brand. He’s well-known in the sports world. He even has a Youtube channel.

Fighters are always looking for an edge. It’s up to the bureaucrats and the promoters to stop being enablers… which seemingly appears to be an impossible request to ask for right now. Unfortunately, the only way attitudes will change in the industry is when someone gets seriously hurt by a fighter who’s using testosterone and everyone starts blaming each other for the drug usage being allowed in the first place. Only reactive and not proactive behavior seems to be par for the course right now. This will backfire sooner rather than later.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 49 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

49 Responses to “Testosterone tidal wave keeps gaining energy”

  1. Jason Harris says:

    I’ve asked before and I’ll ask again: What evidence do we have that TRT, monitored by a professional doctor, is dangerous to either the user or their opponent?

    In general users of banned PEDs lose their fights more than they win. You are lumping TRT in with those users (who have not seemed to be superhuman or gain an advantage, what with the losing) despite it being different to get treatment from a physician than buying horse steroids from a guy in the back of the gym.

    So that evidence not helping the cause, what evidence do we have that this is harming the fighter using it or their opponent? I’ve watched a vast conspiracy of shady fighters, “mark doctors”, corrupt athletic commissions and inept organizations turning a blind eye to this…..but with all of the articles and opinion posts I have yet to read anything talking about why it’s harmful. Care to enlighten?

    • Jo says:

      seriously?? ok lets say the reason fighter X is taking TRT is because of brain damage do you really think its safe for that fighter to continue taking punches to the head in training and in fights??..When it comes to TRT wins & losses are irrelevant(tho the sample size of the guys we know to be on the stuff is small so you cant say for sure it doesn’t help guys get wins) its about being able to train longer harder faster recover relatively quicker and have more aggression & ability to inflict more damage on an opponent who most likely hasn’t had the advantage of that same type of training….

      • Jason Harris says:

        ” lets say the reason fighter X is taking TRT is because of brain damage”

        Stop right there. Name one fighter who has ever been prescribed TRT for brain damage?

        “do you really think its safe”

        Considering that the fighter has to consult with a licensed medical professional, I think they are looking out for the safety of the fighter a hell of a lot more than some random guy on an internet board.

        I see a lot of people second guessing the decisions of medical professionals with absolutely no evidence to back it up besides a set of assumptions and “uh well ummm OF COURSE IT’S BAD”

    • klown says:

      I read Rich Franklin’s comments as an admission of past/current use.

      I think it casts a shadow over Dan Henderson’s explosive maulings of Fedor and Rua. And over Nate Marquardt’s fearsome ninja-style performances. And Frank Mir’s weight gain and knockout power. And I have no doubt that Randy Couture is in the same category as these guys – HGH and/or TRT.

      It’s not a magic potion. It doesn’t guarantees victory. But a strong case can be made that it dramatically improved the performance of several successful fighters, and lengthened their careers.

    • Roger That says:

      An argument based on wins/losses is silly – as you continue to progress, nearly everyone has a point at which they lose competitiveness with their peers.

      But the idea is that the PED gives you an opportunity to succeed and compete at a peak level of competition you would not have reached otherwise.

  2. Bob says:

    Zach,

    The linked article mentions that the antler contains IGF-I, a ~70 amino acid protein.

    A couple of notes:

    IGF-I aka somatomedin-C (mediator of somatotropin(GH))~ often the case, but not always. What I find interesting in that the amino acid sequence of IGF-I is the same in numerous species ~ man,dog,cow,pig,horse,monkey,etc all have the same 70 amino acids.

    But there are several interactions between IGF-I and testosterone: 1) @hypothalamus via GnRH (Gonadotropin releasing hormone) 2)@pituitary (LH production) 3)@testes/ovaries increase testosterone production = Leydig/Theca cells 4)cross-talk with the androgen receptor via phosphorylation sites that can potentiate activity

    However, the dogma has been that GH and IGF-I are too large to survive and be absorbed intact after oral ingestion (except in the very young or perhaps individuals with compromised gut mucosa).

    With advancements in liposome/nanoemulsion there may be a way to facilitate sublingual absorption, but a quick scan of Pubmed didn’t turn up anything meaningful.

    That being said, 3 of the studies that used antler velvet did not find any significant difference between treatment and the control groups at the various endpoints (performance/hormonal).

    Comprising the IGF system are ligands (IGF-I, IGF-II and insulin); receptor (IGF-I receptor, IGF-II receptor, insulin receptor, hybrid insulin/IGF-I receptor (hybrid in the fact that the receptor is a heterodimer composed of a insulin receptor subunit and IGF-I receptor subunit);
    binding proteins (last time I checked there were 7 IGF binding proteins) that can influence + or -, IGF activity by altering stability and receptor interactions.

  3. Weezy02 says:

    “how can anyone with a straight face make the argument that MMA is a safe sport to compete in and market on a mainstream level?”

    I’m assuming you meant this rhetorically, but okay, I’ll bite. Just off the top of my head:

    1. It’s fatality rate is much better than that of auto racing, a sport that is extremely mainstream throughout the world. I could also compare its safety record to other more dangerous but more obscure sports but I don’t want to bore anyone. But what’s that you say? Sure, fatalities are much more common in other sports but not performance ehancing drugs? Well, that’s a bit like Marion Barry claiming that DC’s crime rate isn’t so bad “other than the homicides.” Fatalities should be MUCH more of a concern in the grand scheme of things, for reasons that should be self evident. If participants are known to be maimed or killed on national telecasts, methinks that’s a proportionally worse problem. But then, I’m a little old fashioned. And one more thing on that, for all the handwringing about fighter safety in MMA (understandably), consider the following stat: there have been as many boxers that have died while sparring in just one state (New York) in the past several years as there have been fatalaties in the entire history of pro MMA. You’re a numbers guy, so here’s another one: There have been more documented cases of paralysis from high school folkstyle wrestling practices than from MMA sparring.

    2. Also, you claim that performance ehancing drugs in MMA rivals that of Cycling. You’ve made that assertion in numerous posts. Please back that with data. For instance, let’s take a look at folks either testing positive for/being caught with, etc.. banned substances. Since 1996, there have been well over 200 folks from the sport of cycling that have been popped. How many from MMA in that time period? How many from boxing? I’ll give you a hint, not anywhere in the same neighborhood as that number.

    I think most rational folks agree with you that the sport should be improved. That includes better testing using better technology that are cost effective for independent regulatory bodies. Fighter safety, or athlete safety in all sports, should be a major priority. I can only speak for myself, Zach, but I don’t doubt your sincerity or your desire to make things better. But I have to confess that your overuse of hyperbole hurts your credibility in the eyes of many. It’s a shame, too. You are a good writer with good ideas.

    • EJ says:

      Well said and it’s nice to know that there are other rational people out there, sometimes when I come on here I forget that.

    • Jo says:

      Guys have to die before you can be convinced that MMA is very dangerous if not more dangerous than other sports?? MMA is relatively young and im sure there’s deaths that go unreported at the regional levels all the time but nevermind that.. look at broken down guys like Wanderlai, Babalu, Lidell, big nog, Arlovski, Gary Goodrich, Keith Jardine, cro cop, kid yamamoto etc.. (wont even get into the punch drunk guys) some boxers compete in a 100 plus fight and aren’t anywhere near as broken down as those guys….

      • Jason Harris says:

        “there’s deaths that go unreported at the regional levels all the time but nevermind that..”

        Yeah, the vast MMA conspiracy is keeping them underground.

        ” look at broken down guys like Wanderlai, Babalu, Lidell, big nog, Arlovski, Gary Goodrich, Keith Jardine, cro cop, kid yamamoto etc.. “

        So a declining MMA career is all it takes for you to declare someone “broken down”? Seriously? How exactly are you defining this?

        “some boxers compete in a 100 plus fight and aren’t anywhere near as broken down as those guys…”

        Examples?

      • Weezy02 says:

        “Guys have to die before you can be convinced that MMA is very dangerous if not more dangerous than other sports??”

        That’s a Strawman argument. I never said it is a sport void of danger. For it to be more dangerous from a fatality standpoint, though, yes, I’m going to have to see data that confirms that fact. Right now no such data exists. Again I point you to the facts I stated above. From that standpoint, pro MMA’s track record is much better than that of other sports.

        “im sure there’s deaths that go unreported at the regional levels all the time but nevermind that.”

        Never mind that? You make a false statement and then walk away saying never mind that? Hilarious. Again, show evidence to support that claim or be exposed as incorrect.

        “some boxers compete in a 100 plus fight and aren’t anywhere near as broken down as those guys”

        Anecdotes like that cut both ways. Some boxers only spar and die from trauma whereas lots of pro MMA fighters spar regularly and compete for years and never come close to experiencing the same result.

        • Alan Conceicao says:

          Anecdotes like that cut both ways. Some boxers only spar and die from trauma whereas lots of pro MMA fighters spar regularly and compete for years and never come close to experiencing the same result.

          They do indeed. Unfortunately, modern MMA’s early legends are only in recent years entering retirement, which means there’s not actual data set indicating how they managed 15-20 years after their careers. Most of them in turn had careers in other combat sports or pro wrestling that would be seen as mitigating factors for any neurological/physiological damage sustained during the course of their career. In short: No one actually knows how these guys are going to turn out, and anyone who claims to have knowledge is completely full of it.

        • klown says:

          Alan is correct.

    • Alan Conceicao says:

      The sample size of participation in auto racing vs. MMA is horribly biased to indicate that auto racing is “less safe”, not to mention the fact that auto racing on the regional level has no oversight whatsoever. Bring up the death of Douglas Dedge to MMA fans, and its scrubbed because there was no commission. However, its generally OK to bring up Indonesian boxers flopping dead or drivers being killed in Argentine touring car accidents to make MMA look safer than those activities. The same goes for folkstyle wrestling, which is widely active across the US and thus has far more participants. Hell, does a serious statistical analysis of paralysis at MMA gyms or in MMA bouts even exist? I have a hard time believing it does given that there is practically no public money being spent on MMA training (unlike scholastic wrestling).

      But let’s not allow actual facts to get in the way of lying with statistics, amirite?

      • edub says:

        Heyyoooooo

      • RWeez says:

        “The sample size of participation in auto racing vs. MMA is horribly biased to indicate that auto racing is “less safe”,”

        From what I can tell there have been 96 runnings of the Indianapolis 500. In those 96 races there have been 14 fatalities (that doesn\’t include those killed in qualifying events for that same race). Mind you, this is only one race in only one racing circuit in the entire sport. I’m not biased in saying it\’s a very dangerous sport. Ask most folks that work in the industry. They’ll tell you.

        “Bring up the death of Douglas Dedge to MMA fans, and its scrubbed because there was no commission. However, its generally OK to bring up Indonesian boxers flopping dead”

        Correct. Dedge’s fight was held with no type of commission oversight. Indonesia has an official boxing commission. You were aware of that, right?

        “The same goes for folkstyle wrestling, which is widely active across the US and thus has far more participants. Hell, does a serious statistical analysis of paralysis at MMA gyms or in MMA bouts even exist?”

        I can link you to (at most) only a few documented cases of
        such injuries related to MMA training in the past decade. I can link you to more instances from folkstyle wrestling despite the fact that it’s considered by many to lack real “danger”.

        “I have a hard time believing it does given that there is practically no public money being spent on MMA training (unlike scholastic wrestling).”

        Agreed, which is why I’ve never claimed public money has been or should be spent on MMA training. But let’s not let facts get in the way of good storytelling.

        • Alan Conceicao says:

          From what I can tell there have been 96 runnings of the Indianapolis 500. In those 96 races there have been 14 fatalities (that doesn\’t include those killed in qualifying events for that same race). Mind you, this is only one race in only one racing circuit in the entire sport. I’m not biased in saying it\’s a very dangerous sport. Ask most folks that work in the industry. They’ll tell you.

          And the Indy 500 in 1919 (when cars had riding mechanics and drove on glorified wagon wheels over bricks) is perfectly analogous to the Indy 500 in 2012 where carbon fiber racing cars zip around a well manicured asphalt surface surrounded by impact absorbing walls and fences intended to keep them from hurtling through the air and off the track. Of course.

          Correct. Dedge’s fight was held with no type of commission oversight. Indonesia has an official boxing commission. You were aware of that, right?

          The legendary Indonesian Boxing Commission; A paragon of safety. Do they require CT scans for licensing? I forgot.

          I can link you to (at most) only a few documented cases of such injuries related to MMA training in the past decade. I can link you to more instances from folkstyle wrestling despite the fact that it’s considered by many to lack real “danger”.

          I could link you to yet more people who die in motor vehicle accidents on the road than in auto racing. That would seem to indicate the every day activity of self driven transportation is more unsafe than managed automobile racing in any era, including this one. At least based on how you want to read the statistics. You didn’t actually concede the obvious fact that no one is keeping any proper statistics on things of this nature, though its common enough occurrence at major camps for a search of “mma training paralysis” to fill a couple Google pages with different examples. And since there’s no public funds being used for MMA and no union interested in the safety of MMA fighters, there probably never will be any such statistics kept.

          Agreed, which is why I’ve never claimed public money has been or should be spent on MMA training. But let’s not let facts get in the way of good storytelling.

          None of what I said even came close to claiming this was a cornerstone of your argument. It was an explanation as to why there are no statistic sets which you seek to argue with. The lack of cohesive statistical analysis by random people on message boards apparently is a cornerstone of your argument though. Along with some other astonishingly ignorant statements, of course.

        • RWeezy02 says:

          And the Indy 500 in 1919 (when cars had riding mechanics and drove on glorified wagon wheels over bricks) is perfectly analogous to the Indy 500 in 2012 where carbon fiber racing cars zip around a well manicured asphalt surface surrounded by impact absorbing walls and fences intended to keep them from hurtling through the air and off the track. Of course.”

          Dan Wheldon, Peter Lentz and the more than 200 drivers that have died in competition in the past two decades might beg to differ. They’re unable to, though, simply because driving cars at incredibly high speeds in close proximity to each other is an incredibly dangerous sport, even in our modern era. I’m sorry if that fact conflicts with your worldview. I concede that MMA is dangerous. No one disagrees with that. That doesn’t keep auto racing from still being one of the most dangerous sports in the world, however, with a history of fatalities that is practically without peer.

          “The legendary Indonesian Boxing Commission; A paragon of safety. Do they require CT scans for licensing? I forgot.”

          Not to my knowledge, which is why I never claimed such. I was responding to your “Bring up the death of Douglas Dedge to MMA fans, and its scrubbed because there was no commission. However, its generally OK to bring up Indonesian boxers flopping dead” comment, as you so eloquently put it. I was only pointing out that one fatality occurred in a jurisdiction with no oversight and the boxing deaths occurred though there was government oversight (flawed thought it certainly is). That is simply a fact that you apparently don’t dispute.

          “I could link you to yet more people who die in motor vehicle accidents on the road than in auto racing. That would seem to indicate the everyday activity of self driven transportation is more unsafe than managed automobile racing in any era, including this one. At least based on how you want to read the statistics.”

          Incorrect. I gave you a small sample size as a comparison point. I’ll give another. There were 13 televised IndyCar races in 2011. They had one driver death during competition. That’s a recent subset of data that accounts for far less competitors than televised MMA events last year.

          “And since there’s no public funds being used for MMA and no union interested in the safety of MMA fighters, there probably never will be any such statistics kept.”

          Agreed.

          “The lack of cohesive statistical analysis by random people on message boards apparently is a cornerstone of your argument though.”

          Not exactly. I just try to put the dangers of MMA into a context. Even if peer reviewed research papers don’t exist on comparing stats, it’s not unreasonable to try to look at stats that are readily available. But yes, when “random people on message boards” state things as fact and are unable or unwilling to defend their position, don’t be surprised when their position is challenged. I agree with your earlier point, incidentally, about how we still don’t know the long-term effects of MMA since it is still in its infancy. That is part of the reason I play devil’s advocate when I hear people railing about its inherent dangers while ignoring the inherent dangers of much more time honored and mainstream sports.

        • Alan Conceicao says:

          Since this is a dead topic I’m coming back to after a vacation, I’ll make it quick. Choosing which specific statistics one wants to use are cute and ultimately meaningless if one chooses to scruitanize enough. Peter Lentz didn’t even die in an crash involving an automobile, much less an Indycar. Wheldon’s death can count a million different ways: First death in Indycar competition going back to Krosnoff, Greg Moore, or Paul Dana, depending on how you want to count it and what image you’re looking to push. The point is that statistics tell the truths people want them to tell. This is no different.

  4. Weezy02 says:

    One last set of questions. In a prior post you mentioned Quinton Jackson’s name as being in the “UFC Testosterone Hall of Fame.” I know from previous things you’ve written that objective facts are very important to you. What objective facts did you base that statement on? I can’t imagine it was the “Fighter’s Only” magazine article because supposedly Quinton has denied making the alleged comments chronicled there regarding Testosterone. One easy way to clear it up is for the audio (or video) of that interview to be released. To my knowledge it has not been and I literally can’t think of a good reason for that given that the reporter’s jouranlistic intergrity is being so blatantly challenged. Have you seen proof that Quinton made these comments? If not, is there any other set of facts you’re making such bold accusations based on?

      • Weezy02 says:

        Thanks for the link. I should have specified. It had mentioned in the “Fighter’s Only” interview that Quinton had mentioned that a “UFC doctor” had directed him to someone that prescribed him steroids. Zach mentioned this in the aftermath of that interview. That quote was later changed by “Fighter’s Only” and audio of that interview has STILL not been released. This may seem like a small matter but it is crucial because it hits at the heart of whether something is systemic cheating or a questionable prescription between a patient and their physician. Unless they can back up their prior error (one echoed on this site), they have possibly been guilty of a libelous statement. Zach, did you ever do a post mentioning that change in the article by “Fighter’s Only”? You may have and I just may have not seen it. I only get a chance to check occasionally. Peace.

      • Weezy02 says:

        I should have articulated this better. In February, “Fighters Only” released their interview with Quinton where it was revealed that Quinton claimed a “UFC doctor” had directed him toward someone that could get him a prescription for Testosterone Replacement Therapy. This was touted on this very website as a huge deal. Just one example of a quote from Zach was “So, Rampage already has stepped into it deep here by saying his doctor supposedly works for the UFC and that this connection led him to getting approved for a testosterone prescription.” The problem with all that? Supposedly Quinton never even said that. When pressed to release audio of the interview proving this was said, “Fighters Only” never did so (if I’m mistaken please correct me). Not only that, they changed the wording in the interview shortly thereafter. Did Zach post a retraction? Possibly he did but I’m unaware of it (I don’t get to check MMA sites as often as I’d like). If so, please link me to that retraction.

        • Zach Arnold says:

          Use our site archives over the last few months for the never-ending articles we wrote about the “UFC doctor” in question. 🙂

          In summary, Rampage was talking about “The OC Fighter Doctor” Dr. William Kessler, a chiropractor who some of the boys see in Irvine, CA. Kessler has photos of he and Rampage up online and has bragged about their connection. Rampage says Kessler bills the UFC for his work. Obvious professional conflict there that’s ripe for debate.

          Rampage said he went to a “Russian” age management doctor who ended up linking to T and he’s been happy since the hook-up.

          He fought on the UFC Japan show while using T, which means the UFC had to bless it. Nate Marquardt fought in Germany while on T. So, this isn’t out of ordinary practice.

          As for Fighters Only, they have the audio (IMO). I’ve begged them for months on social media to stop letting other people run the bus over on them and to release it, but never acquiesced.

        • Weezy02 says:

          Fair enough. Thanks for the response, Zach. I went back and read some and it does look like you accurately indicated that Jackson didn’t say a UFC doctor had him do anything. Even when I disagree with you, your coverage is interesting and appreciated.

  5. 45 Huddle says:

    TUF going back to being taped in September. And White said if things still don’t do good for ratings, it will be moved to Tuesday or Wednesday.

    Wednesday seems to be the best day of the week for UFC content, outside of Saturday big events.

    • edub says:

      Their just searching right now. I’d guess there going back to being taped because it’s more cost effective.

  6. Jonathan Snowden says:

    Why act like TRT gives super powers? “Normal human testosterone levels” is an even worse power than the shit the Wonder Twins were stuck with.

    • klown says:

      Why does it have to give “super powers” to be recognized as harmful, to fighter health and to the credibility of the sport?

      • Jonathan Snowden says:

        If it’s damaging to the sport’s credibility to have a handful of athletes using TRT, then all sports are equally damaged.

        Whether it’s dangerous to an athlete’s health is questionable. It seems lots of doctors believe the benefits outweigh the risk for athletes and nonathletes alike.

    • Keith Harris says:

      It’s not normal for a 37 year old guy to have the same levels of testosterone in his system as he had at 27.

  7. The Judge says:

    The issue which is not being covered enough is how much of a boost this stuff provides. Mir on TRT–loses to Dos Santos. Rampage in Japan on TRT, loses to Bader. Both losses conclusive. Nate Marquardt, yeah, ok, when did we last hear from you?
    Steroid use doesn’t seem to be a decisive factor in our sport.
    Athletes will always be looking for ways to give themselves a boost. I can’t say I am much more concerned about an athlete walking into the cage with extraordinarily high testosterone levels than I am over just another muscle-bound freak.
    You want to make the sport safer? Stop booking Belfort, Wanderlei, Cung Le, etc., people one heavy punch away from brain damage, as well as people who don’t have much to offer aside from a possibility of a knockout.

    • klown says:

      It doesn’t make you immune from ever losing, no. And it doesn’t make your career immortal, although it very probably lengthens it. But I’d say Henderson, Sonnen, Franklin, Mir, Rampage, Marquardt, Overeem and Couture are highly successful fighters overall.

      • edub says:

        Franklin is a very hard person to put in that line up for me. He’s done nothing to hurt his credibility, and has said he hasn’t started it before.

        Now if you want to point to some type of PED use when he worked with Billy Rush (willingly or unknowingly) I’d definitely say that’s possible.

      • The Judge says:

        Sure, I see where you are coming from. But the two major concerns with use of “anything” in the sport is that it either gives you a significant edge over other fighters or threatens somebody’s well-being. I am not sure TRT is significantly dangerous drug that does anything more than helps fighters recover from injuries or depleted testosterone due to steroid use.

  8. Tomer says:

    Not related to TRT, but David Stern apparently got pissed off at Jim Rome (not shocking) and asked him “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” in response to being grilled about the Hornets getting the first NBA draft pick while having been under NBA ownership around that time.

  9. Megatherium says:

    Jim Rome asked David Stern “is the draft lottery fixed”?

    Stern should have hit him over the head with his chair and walked out in mid interview.

  10. MMA Gear says:

    I would like to see the increase costs of doing blood work along with urine analysis. Would it add $100, $500, or $5,000 per fighter? There is going to be a cost/benefit to this decision. Until or unless someone dies from taking this stuff, but I am not seeing that happening.

  11. 45 Huddle says:

    http://www.mixedmartialarts.com/mma.cfm?go=forum_framed.posts&forum=1&thread=2014758&page=1&pc=35

    I sometimes forget that not all fans have been watching MMA since the beginning.

    Ortiz talked about the limit being brought up from 200 to 205 lbs for him…. And many of the people think he is full of it.

    This was common knowledge back in the day of MMA. When they were first establishing the weight classes that we have today, Ortiz’s optimal weight was the reason Light Heavyweight was at 205.

    • Chuck says:

      Don’t forget that the current light heavyweight division used to be called middleweight. The current welterweight division was called lightweight, and the current lightweight division was called bantamweight division. Tye current middleweight division was completely new at that time. Man, those were the times…

      • 45 Huddle says:

        Almost all of the older fighters ended up moving down in weight classes as the sport progressed.

        Of the first 7 UFC Heavyweight Champions…. Coleman, Smith, Couture, Rutten, Randleman, Barnett, & Rodriguez…. 5 of them competed at Light Heavyweight. And Smith probably could have if he cut weight. Only Barnett was a true Heavyweight of that crop of fighters.

        Frank Shamrock ended up competing at 185 and probably could have made 170 if he wanted to.

        Even guys like Igor Vovchanchin ended up being a Middleweight. And Sakuraba would have competed at Welterweight today.

        And Super Heavyweight was only created because the UFC didn’t want an unlimited division, so they pushed the limit to Heavyweight as high as they could and just ignored SHW moving forward. Long term, that has actually helped the MMA Heavyweight Division because it has forced some of the bigger Heavyweights to shed the fat and come in to a fight in shape. Weird how it ended up being a positive for the sport.

        • Megatherium says:

          I guess I disagree about 265. I think it’s pointless. How is going through the physically taxing process of a pre fight weight cut like Brock Lesnar had to go through in any way beneficial.

          Also, giants are marketable, fans like to watch the huge guys. The wrestling industry seems to think so anyway. Letting the big guys come in big only makes sense.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          It forced Mark Hunt, Tim Sylvia, and various other fighters to shed the fat and get into better fight shape.

          Most guys don’t have to cut to make 265. But they do have to get rid of more fat, and that makes the fights more competitive.

        • The Gaijin says:

          Lies! Who doesn’t like seeing a Tim Sylvia in fat slob condition (they guy was actually in pretty good shape and toned back when he was fighting the Cabbages of the world) and Mariusz Pudz turning purple and huffing and puffing all over each other after 3 minutes of brawling.

        • Megatherium says:

          I really doubt that the 265 makes much difference in that regard; guys get in shape to go three hard rounds because they want to win, not because they have to go through a weight cut. Besides, they all know what Dana likes; he likes ‘buff dudes’, no body hair or excessive facial hair etc. That is all the incentive they need too improve their appearance and shed blubber.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          I would say the proof is out there. Tim Sylvia has seen no reason to keep under 265 as long as promoters sign him to SHW fights. And he has become a fattie because of it and a worse fighter as a result. Hunt never fought at 265 before he came to the UFC, and he has looked better then he ever has.

          I remember people claiming that the 265 limit was unfair to guys like Antonio Silva and Mark Hunt. And yet now that both have made the limit with no problem, there really isn’t a Heavyweight out there that deserves recognition that can’t make the limit.

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