Hours after the Nevada State Athletic Commission and a Brazilian MMA commission banned the use of testosterone-replacement therapy, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney applauded the decision and reaffirmed his promotion’s stance.
“I’ve had the same opinion and the same stance on it since the first time I was asked the question,” Rebney said in a Bellator 110 post-fight press conference. “I just never felt that the controls were tight enough to be able to allow it to occur. When guys use it it’s an unfair advantage. If you’re going to equalize the playing field, the best way to equalize the playing field is to eliminate it in totality. I’ve never wavered on it and gone back over.”
Rebney went on to say that it’s an unfortunate change for those who legitimately need the TRT to compete. UFC fighters questioned have supported the decision while MMA veterans Dan Henderson and Vitor Belfort, both receiving TRT exemptions in the past, are strongly opposed.
According to Rebney, his promotion won’t have an issue with TRT users as Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson is the only high profile fighter on the roster previously tied to the treatment. “I don’t know that anybody has applied,” Rebney said. “There were some conversations about fighters getting grandfathered in, but I don’t know that anybody applied. But the way it looks right now it doesn’t matter if it applies. Which is the way it should be.”
Jackson, who defeated Christian M’Pumbu in a light heavyweight semifinal last Friday, applied for a TUE in preparation for a UFC 144 match with Ryan Bader. Jackson claimed he used the treatment because it helped nagging injuries heal faster.
With an increasing number of states taking a hardline stance on performance-enhancing drugs the NSAC’s decision is not a surprise. New Jersey, home of Ring of Combat and Cage Fury Fighting Championship, is the exception as the promotion publically acknowledged that they will not adopt a similar policy.
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