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Chael Sonnen says TRT ban may force him to quit UFC

Chael SonnenChael Sonnen says quitting the UFC may be a consideration because of the recent new rules about TRT.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission announced last week that they were no longer allowing TRT (testosterone replacement therapy). Most fighters who have low testosterone levels apply for therapeutic use exemptions to receive the treatment. It was viewed as a way of cheating because the TRT users were believed to be past steroid users whose testosterone levels were only low because of past steroid abuse. UFC boss Dana White said the UFC would try to do the same thing and move towards banning TRT.

When the NSAC first announced the move, Sonnen, who is a TRT user, said he would have to adjust. On Wednesday’s edition of “UFC Tonight,” Sonnen said matter-of-factly that quitting the sport altogether is an option.

“If it doesn’t work, I may have to stop the sport,” Sonnen said. “It’s as simple as that.”

Sonnen I think was saying that more to make a point about notorious TRT user Vitor Belfort needing to adjust rather than himself facing the end, but the point is clear. The TRT ban is a game-changer in MMA. No longer will fighters be able to turn to TRT as an anti-aging option once they get older. If they can’t get by without it, they’re toast.

H/T MMA Junkie

Dana White doesn’t deny Ronda Rousey vs. Gina Carano rumor

Ronda Rousey

UFC commentator Joe Rogan started some ferocious speculation earlier this week when he teased a big announcement regarding Ronda Rousey’s next opponent. He said the announcement about Rousey and women’s fighting is “going to be crazy” when it is made. That has led many to assume Rousey is either going to fight Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino or Gina Carano.

According to MMA Fighting, UFC boss Dana White was given a chance to throw water on the Carano fire Wednesday and chose not to.

“Where did that come from!?” White reportedly told UFC Tonight’s Ariel Helwani. “LOL.”

In other words, he could have come out and denied it but chose not to. Does that mean that Carano, who is 31 and hasn’t fought since Cyborg beat her in August 2009, is actually going to fight the undefeated Rousey? Probably not.

As LB mentioned before, Cyborg seems like the more likely opponent for Rousey. She has made it known that she wants to fight Rousey on numerous occasions. The only question is what weight the two would fight at, since Rousey fights at 135 and Cyborg fights at 145.

If there’s one thing we know about White it’s that he’s a great promoter. Having the MMA world buzz about anything — even if it’s a Rousey-Carano fight that will never happen — is always a good thing.

Ronda Rousey heading for fall fight with Gina Carano or Cyborg?

Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey has fought twice in the last two and a half months and won both of her bouts fairly easily. It looks like she may be running out of opponents in women’s MMA, which means the UFC may have to get creative with her next fight. And they may be doing so.

UFC commentator Joe Rogan teased a big announcement about Rousey’s next fight during an appearance on “Kevin & Bean” on LA radio station KROQ Friday. Here’s what he said (as transcribed by MMA Fighting):

“I wish I could tell you what I know. I wish I could tell you,” Rogan said in response to the hosts questioning whether Rousey will be challenged. “I know some secret stuff. I know some secret stuff, but I can’t tell you. You might actually know, but I can’t tell you. I can say no more than I’ve already said. I will tell you this … within the next probably week or so a huge announcement will come about women’s fighting… It’s going to be crazy. Madness. I wish I could [talk about it now], but I would betray the confidence of my friend and employer.”

Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer mentioned two names as possibilities for Rousey’s next fight: Gina Carano and Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino.

Carano seems like a very unlikely opponent to me. She is 31 and has not fought since Aug. 15, 2009, when she lost to Cyborg. She’s starred in a handful of action movies since leaving the fight game, so I don’t see why she would get back in the octagon. And if she were, why would she start with a fight against Rousey? That’s too tough of an assignment.

Cyborg seems much more likely as an opponent. She has fought twice since being suspended a year for testing positive for steroids in 2011, and she has expressed plenty of interest in fighting Rousey. She’s also made it easier for the UFC to make the fight by no longer having Tito Ortiz, a longtime Dana White antagonist, serve as her manager. The one issue about a Rousey-Cyborg fight is the same one we’ve had all along: at what weight will they fight? Rousey fights at 135, while Cyborg fights at 145 and has said she can’t cut to a weight that low. My guess is they’ll figure something out.

[Related - Rousey to Cyborg: You don't just have a dick, you are a dick]

On a related note, ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reports that Dana White told him Rousey’s next fight will be in the fall, not during the summer as some reported.

H/T Bloody Elbow

Lyoto Machida replaces Vitor Belfort in UFC 173 main event after TRT ban

The same day that the Nevada State Athletic Commission announced it was banning testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), one of the most notorious TRT users pulled out of his anticipated championship fight.
Lyoto MachidaThe UFC announced on FOX Sports Live Thursday night that Vitor Belfort was being pulled from his middleweight title fight against Chris Weidman at UFC 173 and will be replaced by Lyoto Machida.

Belfort, 36, has won his last three UFC fights by knockout. He fought all three in Brazil, but this fight was scheduled for Las Vegas, so he would have needed a therapeutic use exemption from NSAC in order to compete. Now that NSAC has banned TRT, he decided to pull out of the fight (or the UFC pulled him depending on what you want to believe).

Belfort says he plans to continue competing in the UFC but he won’t use TRT.

“The Nevada State Athletic Commission recently altered its policy and no longer will permit testosterone use exemptions, and will not permit a TRT program,” Belfort said in a statement via FOX Sports. “As other jurisdictions may follow suit, I am going to drop my TRT program and compete in MMA without it.

“Given the time constraints involved between now and my proposed next bout in May, I have determined not to apply for a license to fight in Nevada at this time.”

Machida, 35, is back down at middleweight from light heavyweight and will take on Weidman.

UFC wants to follow Nevada, ban TRT for all international fights

The Nevada State Athletic Commission took a huge step on Thursday when it banned testosterone-replacement therapy (TRT) from combat sports, most notably MMA and boxing.

Vitor BelfortTRT has become a huge issue in MMA over the past few years as several of the UFC’s top fighters have received therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) to use testosterone as they prepare for fights. Fighters will see doctors because they have low testosterone levels and many of them have received medical approval to use testosterone, which is pretty much a legal way of them using steroids.

The issue is that many fighters have low testosterone levels because of past abuse of steroids, not because they have grave medical issues that were unavoidable. Nevada has granted exemptions to Chael Sonnen, Dan Henderson, Frank Mir, Shane Roller, Todd Duffee and Forrest Griffin in the past. Brazilian fighter Vitor Belfort (pictured) is currently the most notable fighter who has been using TRT; he has received exemptions for his last three fights, all of which took place in Brazil. Belfort tested positive for steroids in 2006 and was suspended for nine months.

UFC boss Dana White has not liked TRT and says the UFC will follow Nevada by banning TRT in international fights where there is no governing body. The UFC will hope other states follow Nevada and ban TRT as well.

This is an excellent step by Nevada and should help ensure more of a level playing field, especially in a combat sport where a fighter on TRT can do serious damage to an opponent. TRT has been just like a fountain of youth for old fighters, and now they will likely have to age more properly rather than apply for an exemption to use testosterone.

GSP signs woman’s chest

Georges St-Pierre

You know you’ve hit a whole new level in celebrity when you’ve been asked to autograph a woman’s chest. I know blogger autographs aren’t exactly in high demand, but it would definitely be a crowning achievement if that ever happened to me.

For Georges St-Pierre, we can only assume that this is a regular thing.

At a Bacardi party on Tuesday night, the MMA superstar was asked by an attractive female fan to sign her chest. GSP seemed to get a kick out of it, because he had a smile on his face as he was signing his name. She did seem to dip her shirt down a little low for the occasion, didn’t she?

Pic via TO

Anderson Silva already back hitting pads (Video)

Anderson Silva working outAnderson Silva appears to be making excellent progress in his return from a broken leg.

Silva, who broke his left leg kicking Chris Weidman during a TKO loss at UFC 168 in December (watch video here), is back in the gym and hitting pads. His manager, Ed Soares, posted video on Tuesday of Silva working out with coach Marco Morales.

Silva isn’t exactly bouncing around on the floor nor his he hitting with ferociousness, but that’s still a great sign.

UFC boss Dana White has said that Silva could fight by the end of the year.