There are some bouts that leave a lasting impression on the audience. Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar at the first Ultimate Fighter Finale comes to mind, as does Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jon Jones at UFC 165. However, when Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva met in the center of the Octagon at UFC Fight Night 33, it was truly magical.
For five rounds, the two massive heavyweights stood toe to toe and traded punches, earning "Fight of the Night" honors in the process. The bout was so exciting that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White said he'd buy thew two men their own islands.
That magic was tainted a bit when Antonio Silva's post-fight drug test came back for elevated levels of Testosterone, which came from Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT). Silva lost the $50k bonus that he earned and had the draw struck from his record.
Silva immediately went on the defensive, claiming that his elevated levels came from the UFC's doctor who suggested that he take a shot of testosterone a week out. He went on to say that he was going to be exploring a possible lawsuit against the physician.
The doctor in question is Dr. Tannure, a man who aids the Brazilian athletic commission whenever the Vegas-based promotion holds an event in Brazil. MMA Junkie spoke with Dr. Tannure to get his side of the story and he claims that not only has he never been Silva's doctor, the only contact he had with "Bigfoot" was the sole email in question.
"To be clear, I am not, nor have I ever been,Antonio Silva's medical doctor," Tannure stated.
"Antonio ‘Bigfoot' Silva has made some inaccurate statements in the media recently concerning the circumstances leading up to his positive test for an elevated testosterone ratio," Tannure wrote in a statement emailed to MMAjunkie. "I am releasing this statement to clarify the facts related to my limited involvement leading up to his fight with Mark Hunt."
"Approximately seven to 10 days prior to the bout, Antonio's primary care physician and I discussed the fact that, in spite of the TRT, his levels continued to be below the therapeutic level," Tannure stated. "His doctor recommended that Antonio increase the frequency of his dosage of testosterone based on his prior levels, and I was asked to communicate that recommendation to Antonio - which I did via email. I also invited Antonio to contact me if he had any questions.
"Antonio's primary physician and I agreed that his last injection of testosterone was to be taken on Nov. 30, 2013 - one week prior to his fight. I communicated this to Antonio, as well. That was the extent of my involvement in this matter."
There are a few issues at play here. The first is that TRT is not an exact science. When athletic commissions test for substances, they check for a ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone. The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) allows for a 6:1 ratio, other states such as California and New Jersey limit the ratio to 4:1. There is no guarantee that levels will normalize within an allotted period of time.
The second is that while Dr. Tannure admits to relaying the information to Silva, he isn't "Bigfoot's" doctor. He merely acted as a middleman a week out from the fight. That isn't really grounds for a lawsuit. Perhaps the good doctor will reconsider offering aid should he be called upon in the future.