Public perception keeps Rich Franklin from boarding TRT train to Macao

Jeff Vinnick/Zuffa LLC

While former UFC champ Rich Franklin was "kicking around" the idea of taking TRT, the "public perception that it's cheating" has made him think otherwise. That means we can expect a drug free fight against Cung Le next month on FUEL TV in China.

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight titleholder Rich Franklin was "kicking around" the idea of undergoing testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) prior to his UFC on FUEL TV 6 fight against Cung Le, which is scheduled to go down at the CotaiArena from the Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel in the People's Republic of China, on Nov. 10, 2012.

Bad idea.

"Ace" was lit up by fight fans disgusted with the outbreak of TRT over the past few years. Recent inductees into the testosterone hall of shame include former light heavyweight champions Quinton Jackson and Forrest Griffin, as well as ex-heavyweight straphanger Frank Mir.

Franklin tells ESPN he was all ears:

"The public perception of TRT is that it's cheating. The moment I said I was actually thinking about it, I started getting quite a bit of backlash. I don't believe I've dropped off with my speed or strength or any of that. You can't look at my last fight and say, ‘Yeah, Rich has lost a step and is looking older.' When that day comes, perhaps I will consider quitting or possibly taking TRT. More than likely, in my mind, I'll choose retirement over the necessity of TRT to continue."

That's one less thing Le has to worry about on fight night.

Their combined age is (gasp) 78, but neither fighter has shown any visible signs of slowing down. Their "Macao" headliner is expected to be a striking affair, so it will be interesting to see if their chins have held up as well as their hands.

Who goes to sleep next month in China?

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