UFC president Dana White sat down with ESPN's Todd Grisham before UFC 148 and did a very interesting interview. Obviously the pre-fight hype talk is all irrelevant now, but White discussed several other issues that we need to address here at Bloody Elbow in this interview, including:
- How Dana would make Mayweather vs. Pacquiao happen
- Fighter pay and how the UFC is protecting fighters by keeping fighter pay information private
- How Dana compares to MLB commissioner Bud Selig
- Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) and why Dana thinks it should not be allowed in MMA.
Transcribed by Zach Arnold
TODD GRISHAM: "If Dan Henderson wins his fight against Jon Jones, if Chael Sonnen wins on Saturday, two of your biggest faces, your champions, will be on Testosterone Replacement Therapy. How does that sit with you?"
DANA WHITE: "It's... it's... the bottom line is the way that this TRT works, it's absolutely 100% legal with the... let me explain one more thing."
TODD GRISHAM: "A lot of, the public thinks it's cheating."
DANA WHITE: "I know. We're regulated by the Government. We're really the only sport that's regulated by the Government and the Government allows these guys to do this TRT and basically over the next 10 years sports science keeps getting better and better and better and the way that TRT works is as we get older your testosterone level drops and this is to replace it. The problem with it is is you got guys that are going, ‘well, if this much is good, this much must be great.'
That's the problem and you will find guys that will cheat even with the stuff that's legal. So, that's what we're trying to... but you make a good point and Anderson Silva said it at the press conference the other day. Anderson Silva, the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, has broke every record in the UFC and is the greatest fighter ever in Mixed Martial Arts. He's 38 years old, people don't realize that.
He's not 28, he's 38, and he's not doing Testosterone Replacement Therapy. This guy comes in 100% natural and he beats everybody. And something should be said for that. I don't disagree, you know, the guys who are using Testosterone Replacement Therapy [versus] a guy who isn't and this guy is still the greatest in the world. So, to me, the bottom line is you don't need that junk. If you don't abuse stuff younger in your career, you'll never need to use that junk."
TODD GRISHAM: "So, if it up to you, it would be illegal, if you were making the call?"
DANA WHITE: "Yeah."
One of the most clever, and most cynical, aspects of the Zuffa approach to the regulation of MMA is the way they run to government regulation as a way of exempting the promotion's management team from responsibility for things like controversial rule sets, bad judging decisions, drug testing of fighters and now the allowing of therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for TRT.
I'm not saying that Dana could snap his fingers and get TRT banned from the sport, in fact, it may very well be true that he's got little to no influence on the key commissions (Nevada, New Jersey, California) that regulate the sport on this matter. Nonetheless, it's very convenient for Dana that he can distance himself from the very unpopular practice of granting certain fighters TUE's for TRT.