Luke Rockhold has been one of the most vocal opponents of TRT in mixed martial arts, and recently summarized his thoughts on the subject to MMAJunkie:
“I’ll never be a fan of TRT,” Rockhold said. “It is what it is. It’s so prevalent in the sport that I guess we’re just going to have to deal with it. It sucks. … Especially guys that used steroids and now are on TRT, they lowered their testosterone, and they’re just trying to make up for it now. They want to find a way to get through the system and cheat. If there’s actual people who have real problems, sure, give them their exemption. But everyone’s pretty much cheating and trying to find a way to get away with it. It’s stupid.”
But herein lies the problem. Say you’re in Rockhold’s shoes. Say you share his view on synthetic testosterone users, as many do, especially in the case of Belfort, considering his past with illegal steroid use and his resurgence while using the controversial substance for fights in his home country of Brazil. Psychologically, how are you supposed to catalog this loss? Does it count? Is it a legitimate defeat that you can learn something from? Or do you put a great big asterisk next to it, telling yourself you got beat by a substance instead of a man, then move on?
Rockhold’s answer to that question, especially considering his take on TRT in general, was the part that surprised me.
“I don’t place an asterisk next to it,” he said. “I lost. If someone’s going to put an asterisk next to it, that’s for someone in your shoes, someone on that side of the sport. For me as a fighter, it’s a loss.”
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