After Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva fought their hearts out at UFC Fight Night 33, an ecstatic UFC president Dana White gave each fighter their show money, their win money, the Fight of the Night performance bonus, who knows what locker room bonus, all the respect in the world, and joked he would buy each an island.
Then "Bigfoot" Silva tested positive for an elevated level of testosterone. He lost his win money, he lost his "of the Night" bonus, he is suspended for nine months, and he is NEVER getting his own island, as White detailed after the UFC 168 pre fight press conference.
"It bummed me out," said White, as transcribed by MMAFighting. "I was bummed out. I loved that fight so much -- loved that fight. I can’t remember, tell me the last time you saw two heavyweights go at it back and forth like that ever. It’s been a long time. I was bummed out."
“Here’s what happened. So, I told you we test the s--- out of these guys that are doing TRT. We gave [Bigfoot] his last test the week of the fight, he was perfect. He took another shot to put him over. And, what does that extra shot really do for you? What does it really do for you the week of the fight? It destroyed everything. Now you don’t get the win money. We were giving both guys show and win money. And you won the bonus. Now you lost both your show and win money and your bonus money. Ouch."
"So all of you guys out there that are on TRT -- and it’s legal -- if you want to f--- around and take that shot after you’ve been tested, there’s the consequences. The consequences could not be worse. Now you’re on suspension for a year, you lost your win and bonus money, and I’m sure your sponsors aren't thrilled either.
"Here’s what it does, where [TRT] really helps is in your training. While you’re training it helps you heal faster and all this other stuff. Taking that extra shot the week of the fight just puts your levels up through the roof and doesn’t really give you any extra. If he didn’t take that shot they’d have had the same fight, probably. It just isn’t worth the risk, why risk it? Now you see the consequences."
“It bummed me out. I loved that fight so much. Tell me the last time you saw two heavyweights go at it back-and-forth like that, ever? I mean, it’s been a long time. I mean, I was bummed out.”
When asked if the UFC should consider a wholesale ban on Testosterone Replacement Therapy, White deferred to the State, Provincial, Tribal, and Municipal government run Athletic Commissions that regulate the sport across North America, and other parts of the world.
"We’re always going to do what the athletic commission does," said White. "We’re always going to go with the athletic commission. You think it’s great for me that this guy… I literally, I told you guys how much I loved this fight. Now it ruins it for me."
What about it UG? Did the failed test ruin the fight for you? And what should be done about the abuse of TRT?