Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva received a Therapeutic Use Exemption for Testosterone Replacement Therapy prior to his fight for the ages with Mark Hunt at UFC Fight Night 33 on Dec. 7 in Brisbane, Australia. However, a fighter with a TUE must still maintain testosterone levels within normal levels, and MMAJunkie reports that Silva failed to do so.
Silva received a nine month suspension, lost his $50,000 “Fight of the Night” performance bonus, which will now go to Hunt, and his record for the fight will be changed to a No Contest. Hunt's record will remain a draw.
“Silva is on a medically approved regimen of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), and had been in compliance with therapeutic guidelines on all pre-fight tests performed prior to the event,” said the UFC in a statement. “The results of his test on the day of the event indicated a level of testosterone outside of allowable limit. Silva has been informed that the elevated testosterone level is a violation of the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy and his Promotional Agreement with Zuffa."
When the UFC holds a show in an area without a government Athletic Commission, as was the case in Brisbane, regulation is overseen by Marc Ratner, current UFC Vice President for Regulatory Affairs, and former Executive Director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Hunt offered what he termed a clarification, via Facebook.
"Months before my fight I looked for the UFC doctor Marcio Tannure in Brazil so I could start the hormonal replacement "TRT" which was authorized and recognized by a professional," wrote Silva. "I started the treatment and two weeks before my fight I did all the exams required by the UFC. My testosterone level continued to be low so I was recommended by the doctor to increase the dosage. Unfortunately my level increased too much and caused me to suspend. I only did what was recommended by someone trained who understands about the subject therefore it was not my mistake. I'm cool because I know that the mistake was not made by me, I never tried doing anything wrong for my fight."
The doctor referenced above is not in fact a UFC doctor, but is instead the medical director of the Brazilian athletic commission - Comissao Atletica Brasileira de MMA (CABMMA).
Assuming the narrative above is confirmed by the doctor in question, it appears that Silva did not have elevated testosterone during training, and thus should not have received an advantage from it.
When contacted by MMAJunkie, opponent Mark Hunt initially groaned, was happy to learn he would be getting an additional $50,000, and said he wanted to get a TUE, too.
“That’s news to me," said Hunt. "I haven’t heard anything of it. I don’t know what to say, honestly. I don’t know what it is, but kudos to me for the bonus, eh?"
“S---, I need to get on some of this s---. F---, I don’t know how these guys are doing this s---. I should get some of that s---, too."
Hunt took exception to the remarks being published, and responded, via Facebook.
"I get woken up by a reporter he tells me all sorts of rubbish about the fight," wrote Hunt. "U a$$hole reporter don't ever ring me again. I didn't know u was recording a interview. U better lose my phone number u Steven Marrocco from mma junkie don't Eva ring me again and pull that bullcrap u never said it was a interview."
Hunt's anger over the interview is hard to understand, as the comments were charming, and the reporter was doing his job.
UFC president Dana White responded, via Twitter.
Dana White @danawhite
Mark Hunt is a BAD ASS
Loved that fight!!!!
Silva is the sixth UFC fighter to be busted for elevated testosterone levels in 2013, joining Brian Bowles, Robert Drysdale, Lavar Johnson, Rousimar Palhares, and Ben Rothwell.