Grappling with the Issues: TRT and the Middleweights
TRT – The Ban
I’m torn. Like most people within the sport, I think the Nevada State Athletic Commission ban of TRT is a good thing. It levels the playing field when it comes to fighters and reducing performance enhancing substances of any kind has to be looked at as a good thing. My problem lies in the fact that there are men out there who have naturally low testosterone. The state provided exemptions for a wide variety of fighters over the years, including veterans of the sport like Dan Henderson and Vitor Belfort. Would these men have been able to compete at such a high level without the use of TRT? I think the answer is a resounding no. MMA is turning into a young persons game. The toll the sport takes on the body has yet to truly be measured. What we know for sure is that this story might be the biggest one of 2014.
The Middleweight Title Situation
Now that Vitor Belfort isn’t fighting Chris Weidman for the title, and Lyoto Machida is, some big time questions arise. The MMA world has been hard on the current champ, and there probably isn’t anyone in the UFC who needs a dominating win over a significant opponent like Weidman does. Our own Kristian Ibarra thinks that no matter what, we’re looking at a new champion come UFC 173. I’m going to disagree with him . . . somewhat. I’ll agree that Machida provides Weidman with a huge test, due to his ability to avoid the take down and strike with the best in the world. To me, that fight is a toss up, with Weidman having a small advantage because I think he has the strength and power to ground and pound Machida. Now, where I disagree is with the Belfort analysis. If Vitor were still in that main event, he would get absolutely smashed. Belfort is a great striker, but his skills would become mute against someone has strong as Weidman.
Check out Kristian’s piece here and weigh in with your thoughts.