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Following UFC Suspension, ‘Bigfoot’ Silva Plans to Sue Doctor Who Oversaw His Testosterone Therapy

(Antonio’s shoe-size is “display only.” / Photo via

When Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva caught a nine-month suspension for elevated testosterone following his UFC Fight Night 33 battle against Mark Hunt, he claimed it wasn’t his fault — and we rolled our eyes. It’s hard to give the benefit of the doubt to a fighter who was previously suspended for a year due to a positive steroid test.

But Silva isn’t going quietly into his suspension. As he told MMAFighting’s Guilherme Cruz, Bigfoot plans to sue Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA) medical director Dr. Marcio Tannure, who authorized the veteran heavyweight’s therapeutic usage exemption for TRT, and oversaw his therapy. And if you listen to Silva’s side of the story, he might actually have a case here.

A week before his fight in Australia, Silva received a report from Tannure stating that his testosterone levels were low, and he should continue taking injections on a weekly basis. It seems possible that Tannure was unaware of just how soon Silva’s fight was coming up — but nevertheless, Silva’s followed the doctor’s orders, and it wound up costing him a $50,000 bonus and nine months of his career.

“I just did what they told me to do,” Silva told “I’d never do something different that what the doctor told me to. I looked for a doctor with a good reputation, and he’s the UFC’s doctor in Brazil. I knew I’d be tested before and after the fight. Unfortunately, now I have to find the legal ways to overturn this situation or at least prove I’m not guilty…

“I took a shot at the same day he sent me that e-mail, and he asked me if I had another one to take with me to Australia, to take on fight week,” he said. “He authorized everything. I did exactly as I was informed to do.


So Wait, Is It OK or Not OK for Chael Sonnen to Shoot Himself Up With Testosterone?

("What, the pink shirt? I need to wear it for undisclosed medical reasons." PicProps: FightNightNews)

As expected, there’s a ton of fallout today from Thursday’s California State Athletic Commission hearing, which saw Chael Sonnen’s year-long suspension for a failed UFC 117 drug test cut in half. Reactions range from pious outrage that Sonnen got let off the hook to excitement that MMA’s best trash talker will be back in the cage sooner than expected to amusement that he had to spend at least part of the hearing publicly talking about his balls. 

A lot of it was very boring and a lot of it was very strange. Sonnen referencing his late-teen puberty and citing the Americans with Disabilities Act as part of his defense were both admittedly pretty weird. All that aside, your feelings on this case probably boil down to whether or not you believe Sonnen has a legitimate, albeit sort of nebulous medical condition that requires the regular injection of testosterone. If you don’t, if you believe Sonnen, his attorneys and his doctor perpetrated a large scale fraud in front of the CSAC, God and everybody online yesterday, you’re probably pretty pissed right now. If you do believe him, then you likely think the commission’s ruling was the appropriate one. 

Honestly, our personal opinions about what happened at the meeting seem kind of beside the point right now. In my view, the thing I’m really still waiting for someone to explain is this: After his suspension is up, will Sonnen be allowed to keep fighting while receiving the same testosterone replacement therapy, so long as he does the proper paperwork next time? If so, then what are we really talking about here? A technicality? An administrative error? Sonnen got confused about to how many doctors and how many times he had to disclose his medical condition? Wow that seems, uh, dull.