SYDNEY AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 23: Michael Bisping of England speaks during a Press Conference ahead of UFC 127 at Star City on February 23 2011 in Sydney Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
It's frowned upon by few and sought after by many. I'm talking about, of course, the ever-popular, and controversial, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) treatment that has taken the mixed martial arts (MMA) world by storm over the past few years.
The procedure, which often involves intramuscular injections in order to make up for the low testosterone levels in one's body, has been a highly debated topic over the last few months and it doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon. Low testosterone levels often lead to a decrease in muscle mass, depressed mood, decrease in hemoglobin and possibly mild anemia.
Many of today's MMA stars have undergone TRT and it's caused somewhat of a stir amongst those who feel the treatment should not be legal and gives the fighter an unfair advantage in competition.
Bottom line: The procedure is legal as long as it is monitored by a doctor and kept within normal levels and do not exceed those levels produced by UFC heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem, which were pretty much off the charts.
Some, like former UFC Light Heavyweight and heavyweight champion Randy Couture, don't agree with it, while others such as Dan Henderson, Couture's friend and former training partner, openly embrace it. It seems everyone has a view, positive or negative, on the subject.
UFC Middleweight contender Michal Bisping is no different.
"I think it's absolute nonsense, rubbish, bullshit. Listen, we all get old, we all grow up, you know? At some point, as you start getting older, your balls don't work as well and you don't make as much testosterone, but, that's life and you deal with it. A guy that is 40-years old doesn't make as much testosterone as a 21-year old so he gets an exemption certificate to say, 'So now we will give him as much testosterone as a 21-year old.' Well, what about me, I'm 33 (years of age), I'm not making the same amount as a 21-year old, but I make more than a 40-year old. Where do we draw the line? It's nonsense. Listen, nature determines that and I don't think we should interfere with that. I think it's cheating very, very well, it's dressed up. Its nonsense, its absolute bullshit and I, for one, am very, very against it. I would never ever do that. I am who I am and I've done well doing what I do."
Love him or hate him, Bisping makes some very good and interesting points. Where does one draw the line? Since the treatment is legal, is there even a line to be drawn?
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White has gone back-and-forth on the controversial topic and many of his most popular fighters have been granted approved exemptions by athletic commissions to undergo the treatment.
How about it Maniacs, do you agree with the brash Brit? Is TRT, in your eyes, cheating and advantageous for those undergoing the treatment? Should athletic commissions discontinue exemptions for certain fighters? Or is it fair game as long as it's legal?