UNCASVILLE, Conn. – With the Nevada Athletic Commission banning fighters across the board from using testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) on Thursday, UFC president Dana White went immediately on record wishing it a fond farewell.
So, what does the UFC's counterpart, Bellator, think of the TRT ban? Bellator's CEO Bjorn Rebney made it clear that he's against it as well in a post-fight scrum at the Mohegan Sun on Saturday night.
"I've had the same opinion on [TRT], and the same stance on it since the first time I asked the question," he said. "I just never felt that the controls were tight enough to be able to allow it to occur. When guys use it it's an unfair advantage. If you're going to equalize the playing field, the best way to equalize the playing field is to eliminate it in totality. I've never wavered on that...it is an unfair advantage when misused. Anybody who's in this sport recognizes that people misuse it."
When asked if any of his roster had asked for an exemption, he pondered it for a moment before saying not that he was aware of.
"I don't know that anybody has applied," he said. "There were some conversations about fighters getting grandfathered in, but I don't know that anybody applied. But the way it looks right now it doesn't matter if if applies. Which is the way it should be.
Jackson did not ask for a therapeutic use exemption for his light heavyweight semifinals fight with Christian M'Pumbu in Connecticut. While still fighting in the UFC, Bellator 110's headliner Quinton Jackson had taken TRT ahead of his fight with Ryan Bader at UFC 144. Jackson lost the fight and fell under scrutiny for his casual use of synthetic testosterone.
"It's unfortunate for guys who have a legitimate physical defect," Rebney said. "But they're on the side of doing it right for everybody, and the vast majority are going to be able fight clean now and not have to fight against somebody who isn't [on TRT]. So I think it's a good move."