Dan Henderson stopped TRT use prior to UFC 161

USA TODAY Sports

Hendo has been known as one of the longest TRT recipients in the sport. However, because of the strict exemption policy of the Manitoba commission, he discontinued his use prior to his UFC 161 bout against Rashad Evans.

When an injury forced UFC Bantamweight champion Renan Barao from his scheduled title defense at UFC 161, Light Heavyweights Dan Henderson and Rashad Evans got the bump to the top slot. After 15 minutes, Evans was awarded the split decision. While neither man had their best performance inside the Octagon, there was something notable about the bout - for the first time in years, Henderson competed without a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).

Earlier this week, the Manitoba Combative Sports Commission released its drug test results and reported that no TUEs were granted for the event. Henderson explained why he didn't apply for his exemption for this fight and how it effected him to MMA Junkie:

It didn't look like they would approve it, so I just quit taking the testosterone. I stopped about six to eight weeks out. I was told by my doctor that wouldn't be a problem at all. I wasn't using that much, anyway.

I guess they won't approve it unless you can prove a physical problem with your body that would explain why you need it other than just testing low for testosterone," Henderson said. "You have to give them a reason why your body has a physical ailment, such as your pituitary gland or something. That wasn't my case. They weren't going to approve me, so I didn't even apply for it. After they spoke with my doctor, I just withdrew my application.

I didn't feel too big of a difference," Henderson said. "I was a little tired here and there, but that's not too different from all my other training camps. My last couple camps, I've been having some problems with my chest, some asthma. As a kid, I had exercise-induced asthma, and I felt the testosterone made a difference there. But who knows?

"It's hard to tell. I never noticed a huge difference. I just know my doctor says it's healthier for me. I know I was getting sick less often when taking TRT, and I seemed to have more energy.

Henderson has returned to using supplementary testosterone since coming back from Winnipeg. While he does not yet have a fight lined up, he said he would like to fight again in December. Right now, the UFC has two events scheduled for the end of the year, UFC on Fox 9 on Dec. 14 and UFC 168 on Dec. 28.


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