When Dan Henderson steps into a Brazilian Octagon on March 23, the UFC will see its final testosterone-replacement therapy recipient compete.
On the heels of the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s decision to ban TRT and deny therapeutic-use exemption requests, Brazil’s Comissao Atletica Brasileira de MMA (CABMMA) is following suit. The announcement was initially reported by Brazil-based SporTV. Henderson received a TUE prior to CABMMA’s decision and will compete against Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua at UFC Fight Night 38 later this month.
Considered the first mixed martial artist granted a TUE, Henderson believes that the wrong drugs are being targeted in MMA’s effort to level the playing field. “I just think that they took the easy way out,” Henderson said in an interview with MMAFighting.com. “Instead of trying to get rid of the bigger problem of PEDs, they banned the drugs they had already approved for athletes with chronically low testosterone levels. I would love for them to do better. Random, no advance notice drug testing.”
The former Pride middleweight champion recently signed a six-year deal with the UFC despite his claim that the promotion lowballed him, and he isn’t the only TRT user alleging he was wronged.
Vitor Belfort was scheduled for a UFC 173 title bout with Chris Weidman until Dana White announced that Lyoto Machida would be taking his place just hours after the NSAC’s decision. Via a Facebook post, Belfort agreed to give up TRT but says he was never consulted about withdrawing from the fight.
UFC light heavyweight and Fox Sports analyst Chael Sonnen is one of several fighter known to consume TRT but is the only one supporting the NSAC’s verdict. “The rules are the rules – that’s it,” Sonnen opined on Fox Sports Live earlier this week. “Yesterday, it was legal, so quit complaining. Today, it’s illegal. That’s it. Quit complaining. End of conversation. Testosterone’s out.”
Regardless of rulings sent down by the NSAC and CABMMA, there aren’t any reports of fighters giving up MMA. Henderson expects to fulfill his contract, Sonnen still expects to face Wanderlei Silva in late May, and Belfort awaits the winner of the Machida-Weidman championship bout.
For complete coverage on the elimination of performance-enhancing drugs in MMA visit Scifighting.com