Former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva is back after a one year suspension due to a failed drug test to battle Israel Adesanya at UFC 234.
Silva, who is in favor of the way the UFC handles drug testing with USADA, would like the promotion to re-evaluate their stance on testosterone replacement therapy.
“USADA’s entrance in the UFC to control the doping situation, the way I see it, was good,” Silva said to Rap 77 (via MMA Junkie). “But, in a certain way, it ends up being a disturbance. Because MMA isn’t a regular sport like all the others. It demands from the athlete fighting training, physical training. There are other countless technical valencies that they have to maintain(like) injuries, etc. I’m in favor of doping control, for sure. I think no athlete should or can be, on fight day, taking advantage of some situation. But I think they need to review this (TRT). Because there are many injuries, many athletes getting hurt, many fights getting cancelled due to athletes getting injured, etc. For instance, you take a Tylenol, you can get caught in the doping. You take aspirin, you can get caught in the doping. There are many things, many medicines that the athlete uses, that they have to always be policing themselves. … I’m not against USADA; I’m totally in favor, but I think there should be a certain (flexibility) when it comes to what is allowed and what isn’t.”
TRT has been banned from the UFC since 2014 and fighters who compete under the UFC banner still get tested by USADA for those substances.
The former middleweight champion isn’t just advocating TRT usage for himself, but for all fighters who compete in the promotion.
“There are some athletes who need to make use of the hormonal replacement,” Silva said. “I think, if USADA regulated that, we’d have the sport at a high level, with athletes who have stopped fighting. Vitor, for example. Even me, though I never had the replacement. But some athletes who really need it, who are older. Dan Henderson, many other athletes who have stopped because of this.”
UFC 234 takes place on Saturday, February 9 from the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia with Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.