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Tag: TRT

Quote of the Day: Past Steroid Users Like Vitor Belfort Will Probably Not Be Receiving TRT Exemptions in Nevada


(“I don’t really get what this whole TRT debate is even about, Vitor. As if my thyme-roasted tilapia is the sole ingredient behind your success.”) 

Although testosterone replacement therapy hasn’t been a topic of debate for all that long in the MMA world, it has more than worn out its welcome with the sport’s fans and more than a few fighters to boot. It’s been criticized so much that even Dana White has flip-flopped on the issue, now vowing to “test the shit” out of fighters on TRT out of fear that they will abuse it. The general dislike for this newfangled “therapy” is only intensified when it involves past steroid abusers like say Vitor Belfort, who tested positive for 4-Hydroxytestosterone following his Pride 32 loss to Dan Henderson in 2006.

As you surely recall, Belfort was granted a TUE for TRT prior to his UFC on FX 7 victory over Michael Bisping. Although most of us were willing to give “The Phenom” a pass for that event because he was able to shut up Michael Bisping for a minute or two, it looks like NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer will not be so lenient should Belfort and past dopers like him fight in Nevada any time soon:

I don’t see Vitor Belfort getting a TRT exemption from us. I really don’t and I feel kind of bad for him in some ways because if he has learned from his mistakes and now he’s trying to do it the right way and his levels are low with the treatment good for him and I hope he is doing that. 

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Nine Different Ways of Looking at Testosterone Replacement Therapy in MMA

Opinions that fans and pundits have on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) and its place in MMA are about as varied as the search engine terms that brought you here. With Dana White promising to “test the shit out of” fighters on testosterone replacement therapy to Vitor Belfort lashing out at his critics on Twitter over his own TRT usage, we’ve seen two different extremes over the course of this weekend alone. It’s a complicated issue that has many different ways of being interpreted; possibly none of which are entirely right or wrong by themselves. With that in mind, here’s an attempt at condensing the plethora of opposing views on the issue into nine different ways to look at it, arranged in no particular order.

1.) It’s Incredibly Dangerous For Both Fighters Involved.

Perhaps the most common criticism I’ve heard and read regarding testosterone replacement therapy in MMA is that it makes an already dangerous occupation even more hazardous. This is easy to observe through the perspective of the user’s opponent. It’s one thing if Barry Bonds wants to hit longer home runs, or if Hedo Turkoglu wants to flop harder — their opponents are not physically hurt by their actions in either example. However, if an MMA fighter takes testosterone to become more aggressive and punch harder, the likelihood of his opponent suffering irreparable brain damage increases dramatically.

Often neglected, however, are the additional long-term risks that the TRT user opens himself up to. Testosterone may make a fighter faster and stronger, but it doesn’t exactly undo brain damage. Prolonging a fighter’s physical prime also elongates the amount of time he’s receiving blows to the head. Imagine if boxers like Meldrick Taylor and Riddick Bowe – who showed signs of dementia pugilistica by the ends of their careers yet didn’t retire until they couldn’t stay in shape — had access to testosterone replacement therapy. Giving aging fighters the illusion that they can keep taking shots to the head because they’re still in good physical condition is bound to end in disaster.

2.) TRT Isn’t Nearly The Advantage It’s Made Out to Be.

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Dana White Says He’s ‘Absolutely 100 Percent Against TRT’, Vows to Test the [Expletive] Out of Abusers


(Photo via MMAOpinion)

Ever since it began making headlines thanks to Chael Sonnen and Nate Marquardt, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) has been one of the most controversial topics in MMA. To some, it’s medically-sanctioned cheating — a legal loophole that allows giant killing machines to have even more firepower in their quest to injure their opponents. To others, it’s…uh…well, it’s a freedom country, so why even discuss it?

But although UFC president Dana White has flip-flopped on TRT in the past, he’s finally made up his mind, and fortunately, he’s coming down on the right side of the issue. While in London for UFC on FUEL 7, White came out strongly against the practice, blasting fighters who abuse hormone therapy to jack up their testosterone levels during training. Here’s what he had to say following the Barao vs. McDonald weigh-ins:

TRT has become a way for people to cheat. If this is what your normal level should be and then you have guys training at huge levels (of testosterone) for their whole camp then tapering down to get to normal levels before the fucking fight, that’s cheating, and I don’t like it anymore.”

There are plenty of guys in the UFC that are naturally gifted and talented fighters. If you’re testosterone levels are too low then you’re probably too old to be fighting, stop fighting!

We can test everybody. I’m telling you right now, if you are using testosterone replacement therapy, get ready motherfuckers because we’re going to test the shit out of you.”

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Vitor Belfort vs. Luke Rockhold to Serve as Headliner for [UPDATED] UFC on FX 8 In Brazil


(Image via CombatLifestyle)

Fight bookings continue to dominate the MMA headlines, Potato Nation. Fortunately for us, it looks like 2013 will be a year where at least half of these announced fights actually make it to the cards they were originally intended to be on.

Although the matchup was hinted at a few weeks ago, both Vitor Belfort and Luke Rockhold vehemently denied that a bout between them was anywhere near a done deal. In fact, the final Strikeforce middleweight champ even went as far as to call out Costa Philippou for his promotional debut, a move that seems like a classic bait and switch in hindsight. In either case, it has been announced that Belfort and Rockhold will indeed be facing off next at a yet-to-be-named event in Brazil, go figure.

Belfort is fresh off a second round destruction of Michael Bisping at UFC on FX 7 that was first attributed to an omniscient higher power but later revealed to be at least partially influenced by the highest power of them all (other than bath salts, of course): testosterone. Rockhold, on the other hand, was scheduled to face Lorenz Larkin at Strikeforce’s once-named Champions event last month, but was forced to pull out from the fight with a wrist injury. Or as Lorenz would call it, a “wrist injury.”

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Michael Bisping Issues Statement on Vitor Belfort’s TRT Usage, Actually Doesn’t Sound Like an Asshole


(Remember the good old days? Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting.com)

No, there is absolutely nothing sarcastic about the title of this article. Michael Bisping, who has the ability to sound like a total asshole even while saying things that many fans agree with, has respectfully released a statement on a hot-button issue. He has managed to disagree with other side without playing the role of a cocky British stereotype. I’m being dead serious.

On Friday, Bisping took to his website to release an official statement about Vitor Belfort’s testosterone replacement therapy usage for their fight at UFC on FX 7. As you may remember, following the event there was much speculation that Belfort may have failed his drug test due to information being leaked that one of the fighters from the card pissed hot. Even though the news regarding the actual fighter who failed his drug test turned out to be rather anti-climactic (read: not Belfort), many people feel that TRT has no place in MMA, including Michael Bisping.

Here’s his official statement, in all of it’s non-dickish glory:

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Put the Rumors to Rest: Vitor Belfort is Officially a Testosterone-Deprived Old Man


(Hey, you can’t blame Vitor for following in the footsteps of his lord and savior.) 

File this one under “News that absolutely no one should be surprised about.”

We knew something had to be up from the moment Vitor Belfort gave his incoherent, rambling, Animal Farm-esque response when questioned about whether or not he had hopped on the TRT bandwagon currently sweeping through MMA. Either Belfort just really, really feared being ostracized from his future bridge group at the UFC retirement home — the Ultimate Fusspot CareCenter — or he was simply feeding the interviewer whatever thoughts he could string together whilst trying to find the nearest exit. And now that the drug test results for UFC on FX 7 have come back, the UFC would like you to know that Belfort was definitely doing the latter.

Earlier today, UFC officials confirmed that Belfort did in fact receive a therapeutic use exemption for testosterone replacement therapy in the weeks leading up to his main event bout against Michael Bisping at UFC on FX 7. But fret not, for his post-fight test “did not indicate the presence of any prohibited substance for increasing performance improvement.” Thank de Jesus for that.

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Vitor Belfort Is a Toe-Sucking, Chicken-Legged, Two-Faced, Back-of-the-Head-Punching TRT Abuser, Says Michael Bisping


(Photo via esporte.uol.com.br)

After burying most of the UFC middleweight division in his last Yahoo! Sports column — including that poor, poor Chris Weidman, who has done nothing to deserve such rough treatment — angry MMA blogger Michael Bisping returned last night with his latest missive, which attacks pretty much every aspect of Vitor Belfort‘s character, from the Brazilian’s physical appearance, to his controversial history of rabbit-punching, to his Rex Ryan-esque affection for his wife’s feet. (Meanwhile, Belfort claims that talking trash is dangerous because it can infect the person doing the talking as much as it can hurt the target. Pffft, whatever!)

Here are some choice highlights from the Count’s latest blog, in order of brutality…

On embarrassing fetishes:
“A fan tweeted me a link to Vitor in some Brazilian reality TV show, a clip where he’s in a bath kissing someone’s feet. [Ed. note: In case you've somehow never seen this clip before, those feet belonged to Vitor's wife, Joana Prado.] It was pretty fruity stuff but, if he enjoyed sucking toes, he’s going to have the time of his life on January 19 because I’m going to kick him in the face all night long.” [Ed. note: You son of a bitch.]

On TRT and illegal punches:
“I’m thinking of asking Randy Couture if I can use him old nickname ‘the Natural’ just to make it clear I’m not one of these guys who is on TRT or any of that junk. Whenever someone asks me if I am on it, I give them a straight answer and if they ask me what I think of TRT I always say: ‘I think it is legalized cheating’…I don’t think it has a place in our sport and wish my opinion — and I think the majority of fans’ opinion — was shared by certain other fighters and the people who regulate our sport.

I was disappointed Vitor Belfort started talking in tongues when asked about TRT recently. He had a little more to say on Monday when he was asked directly about my concerns that all his recent UFC fights were won by illegal punches to the back of the head. In between lengthy references to the New Testament, Belfort basically said he doesn’t care if he hits opponents behind the head…

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Okay, Should We Just Assume That Vitor Belfort Is On TRT, Then?


(Meanwhile in the Kingdom of Heaven, God continued to watch NASCAR. Photo courtesy of The Canadian Press/Nathan Denette)

Four months after his ill-fated light-heavyweight title bid against Jon Jones, Vitor Belfort will be returning to the UFC middleweight division on January 19th to face Michael Bisping in the main event of UFC on FX 7. Though he’s well into his 16th year of professional MMA competition, Belfort insists that he’s never felt so good in his entire life. Obviously, that particular fighter-cliche has become so overused that it’s virtually meaningless. But if the Phenom is telling the truth, maybe there’s a reason for it. And so, ESPN’s Brett Okamoto pointed out the elephant in the room during an interview published yesterday. Hilarity ensued:

ESPN: Some fighters in their 30s have been diagnosed with low testosterone levels and received exemptions to use testosterone replacement therapy [TRT]. Have you ever applied for TRT or would you consider it?

Belfort: If a question is private, I have the choice to answer or not. If I make it public, it’s not private anymore. If I want to say something private I will say it, but I keep to myself and I respect the laws of the sport. Whatever the organization, whatever the law — they know what to do. This is too controversial, why am I going to say something that doesn’t accomplish anything? If it’s legal, they know what to do. If it’s legal, there’s nothing to say about it. It’s legal.

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UFC “Can’t” Disclose Who Applied for Therapeutic Use Exemptions for TRT at UFC 152


Props: MMA Fan Made

By George Shunick

The UFC’s unofficial support for Testosterone Replacement Therapy may just have become more or less official. Because the Ontario Athletic Commission doesn’t engage in the pesky business of drug testing, responsibility falls to the UFC to do so. This isn’t the first time this has happened, and certainly the UFC’s own policies have caught fighters doping. But things are a little different now – fighters have a legal means of obtaining synthetic testosterone, the primary component of many anabolic steroids. The flipside of this is that they need to acquire a therapeutic use exemption in order to use TRT, which at least illuminates who is using the stuff to enhance their performance.

Or at least it would be illuminated if the UFC were to release the names of fighters who requested TUEs, which they are obligated to do when dealing with a commission that gives a damn about at the very least appearing to maintain some semblance of professionalism. Since Ontario’s athletic commission doesn’t happen to belong to that exclusive group, the UFC can not disclose if a fighter on the UFC 152 card has requested a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).” [Emphasis added.]

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Five Things the UFC Needs to Fix If They Want to Continue Their Upward Trajectory


(When Zuffa purchased the UFC, Dana White actually had hair. There is no punchline, just a fact worth mentioning.)

By Nathan Smith

I have purchased pay per views from the Ultimate Fighting Championship since 1994, where I was welcomed to the sport with Pat Smith turning the face of Scott Morris into a Manwich at UFC 2: No Way Out. It was like heroin after that – I was addicted. Since then, I estimate that I have shelled out well over $5000 on PPVs alone, much less another sizeable chunk of change on tickets to live events and the obligatory UFC merchandise (who can live without the life-sized GSP cardboard cut-out – NOT ME).

Throughout that time I have been an advocate of MMA to the uninformed masses that I’ve encountered at watering holes across this great land. For every, “That UFC shit is just a legalized bar fight” comment, I would swoop in like Dogwelder to defend the UFC and its competitors. It was almost a grass roots effort by the early UFC supporters to educate the ignorant and let them know that this is a real sport filled with unbelievably talented athletes. The edification continues today as many intelligent fans try to shun the perceived stigma that we are a bunch of tatted-up dudes wearing flat-billed TAPOUT hats and driving small-penis-compensating monster trucks while applying ring worm ointment to our wounds.

Then there was the figure-head, the fearless leader that was taking all the media scrutiny head-on and paving the way while holding up his middle finger to the man. After the ZUFFA purchase, Dana White was a perfect fit during the infancy of the UFC’s push towards legitimacy. Adopting rules and weight classes and marketing the shit out of the product culminated in a 7 year deal with FOX and its affiliates. Now the UFC is on the precipice of its fourth nationally televised FOX card and the ratings have plummeted from 5.7 million during UFC on FOX 1 (Cain Velasquez VS Junior Dos Santos) to 2.4 million during UFC on FOX 3 (Nate Diaz VS Jim Miller).

I don’t think it is a coincidence that viewership and PPV buys are down. I have always been a staunch supporter of the brand and even I, a die hard fan, am starting to see chinks in the UFC armor. The reasons have been dissected on CP with various posts but I believe that this is just the beginning of problems for the UFC unless some changes are made pronto. I am not saying that the UFC is in the toilet but as the organization has grown in stature from eviscerating the competition, a standard evolution needs to happen.

So with that in mind, here are five ways that the UFC can move from their current plateau all the way to the mountain top.

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