Esther Lin for Strikeforce
Longtime mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran and current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight contender Dan Henderson dishes on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) and welcomes any random testing for it from the UFC.
The age-old debate on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) picked up a bit more steam last week when Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White said he will start coming down hard on fighters currently on the controversial treatment, saying the UFC, along with athletic commissions, were going to start "testing the shit" out of them because at the end of the day, he feels it's cheating.
White's stance came as a shock to most, seeing as plenty of his high-profile fighters have received medically approved exemptions for TRT including Chael Sonnen, Forrest Griffin, Quinton Jackson, Dan Henderson and most recently, Vitor Belfort.
For "Hendo," who says he has been under the treatment for the last five or six years, he welcomes rigorous testing of fighter's testosterone levels and believes the promotion should monitor it closely by sending all athletes to their doctors first if they want to get approved.
The former PRIDE FC Middleweight and Welterweight champion also said even if he wasn't fighting, he would still have to undergo treatment because without it, he would probably get sick more often and would by laying around on his couch more, too.
"Just doctors recommendations basically. Before I did anything I called the athletic commission to make sure it was okay. This was a long time ago. And they had no problem. I would welcome random drug testing for that and for everything. I think that would really help clean up this sport a lot and when people look at (the sport), there is no bad taste in anybody's mouth if the UFC really implements random drug testing."
Henderson, for one, says he wouldn't pass judgment on the younger fighters of today seeking for approval to get on TRT, saying each case is different but the UFC is well on its way to legitimizing the whole process of approval:
"I don't know everyone's situation, it's different. It could be a legitimate reason or it could not be. Obviously that makes it a little bit more fishy. But, I think the UFC maybe has to have everyone see their doctor to get approved to be on it. And go through their testing and make sure it's legitimate and monitor it a little bit better. It's not too tough to monitor."
In his case, the 42-year old mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran believes the therapy has helped him with his overall health, saying he wouldn't be as active if he wasn't on it and even if he weren't fighting anymore, he would still be on it:
"Yeah, I'd still be competing, but I'd probably be getting sick more and be lying on the couch more. But, in the same token, If I wasn't fighting, I'd still be having to take it."
"Hendo" will take on Lyoto Machida this weekend (Feb. 23, 2013) at UFC 157 in the co-main event from Anaheim, California, as he attempts to earn a shot at the promotions light heavyweight title with a victory.
What do you make of Dan's comments?