Talk of TRT has taken a backseat to the UFC's injury pandemic but shouldn't be forgotten based on the news cycle. It's a polarizing issue yet there doesn't seem to be any reputable sources to clear the air. So who to listen to?
I do not have a medical background, but what I do have are a particular set of skills. Skills that I have acquired over a very long time on the internet. Skills that allow me to make an argument and support it with facts, evidence, and trends. Skills that let me make it into a numbered list. In this case, it's the fighters themselves.
The most high profile case of TRT use in MMA has to be the [in]famous Chael Sonnen. He's also arguably been the most successful. He tested way above the acceptable T:E ratio after his first bout with Anderson Silva and raised a storm to the CSAC about how his testicles are broken. There was the dominating submission win over Brian Stann, the mediocre showing against Bisping, the a good round against Anderson Silva before getting knocked out.
For an outspoken advocate of TRT, Quinton Jackson sure isn't showing any benefits. Rampage missed weight for the first time in his career and proceeded to look terrible in his fight with Ryan Bader. He claims to have injured his knee mid-fight. The streak of bad luck continues with his recent injury that forced him to call off the Teixiera fight.
Dan Henderson gassed real bad against Shogun and was utterly defenseless for the final round. More recently he was unable to finish his training camp due to injury and dropped out of his title fight against Jon Jones.
Forrest Griffin is an overachiever. He's had an outstanding career and although Anderson Silva made him look a whole beat behind, that's just what Anderson does. That aside, has Forrest ever put on a worse performance than the final fight of his trilogy with Tito Ortiz? It's arguably the worst showing of his career and his first fight that was TRT assisted.
Frank Mir has an inconsistent build. He was in good shape as champion, then became Fat Mir post-accident, slimmed down to have a speed advantage against Lesnar, then added 30lbs of muscle to that to try and be as strong as Carwin. Saying he didn't appear in his greatest shape against Dos Santos doesn't mean much. What's telling is that in his first fight on TRT, Frank was beaten like eggs in a bakery.
Nate Marquardt had to sit out for a year because of his failure to follow the rules for a therapeutic use exemption twice in a row. He decided that the treatment that was holding his health together was too big of a bureaucratic pain in the butt and and stopped. Nate wouldn't let the lack of medical treatment hold him back though. He looked great in his pummeling of previously undefeated Tyron Woodley to take the Strikeforce Welterweight title.
Shane Roller is a similar case. He lost three fights in a row, quit TRT because he didn't want to do what it takes for an exemption, and is now on a one fight win streak.
Bristol Marunde is best known as a journeyman that Jacare got a rebound win off of. He was submitted in the third round.
Ken Shamrock is Ken Shamrock.
High level fighter with losses to really really good fighters
Missed weight, fought poorly and lost, got hurt before his next fight.
Poor cardio, injured before next fight
Fought poorly, won a controversial decision.
Beaten like eggs.
Quit TRT, won his next fight by KO
Quit TRT, snapped a three fight losing streak
Injury prone, coming off a win.
Still Ken Shamrock
It seems that TRT is more closely tied to poor performances than uncharacteristically strong ones. Fighters who expect to have a boost in performance or training benefits seem to perform worse and put on worse fights for us, the fans. And this is why TRT is ruining MMA.
The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.