Just days before the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) voted to ban the use of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) in combat sports within the state of Nevada, the UFC's handling of the controversial treatment came under fire in the form of an investigative report released by ESPN.
While speaking to reporters in London on Friday, UFC President Dana White fired back at the report and what he believed to be its misguided accusations.
"The fallout has been zero," White said. "ESPN, as usual, they like to embellish s--t. First of all, we have 500 guys under contract. Now that this new thing has come in and TRT is banned, five guys can't take TRT out of 500. Five guys had exemptions. They made it sound like it's rampant throughout the MMA world. If five guys is rampant?
"Here's the other thing ESPN said in their story: 'When Dana White has talked about this in the past, he's flip-flopped.' I have never f--king flip-flopped, ever did I flip flop. I said right off the bat I don't like it, we shouldn't use it. I get it, it's science. I even said it was a loophole in the system.
"I've been the guy who has been vocal about it and said it should go away," a heated White continued. "It should go away, it should go away. And if you don't think that had a huge impact on why it went away, you're crazy."
In the week since the NSAC handed down its decision via a unanimous vote, the UFC and several state commissions have followed suit and banned the use of TRT in mixed martial arts. It's a move that has led numerous fighters to an unexpected crossroads, as Vitor Belfort was forced to withdraw from his UFC 173 title bout against Chris Weidman, and Chael Sonnen has already publicly expressed doubt about his ability to continue competing in the sport.
Nonetheless, the lingering effects of the situation continue to irk the UFC President.
"The whole ESPN, that thing was such a sham," White said. "That story was such a sham, and of course, they ran the s--t out of it because it's negative, half of it wasn't true or was just embellished. It's rampant throughout MMA. 500 guys in MMA and five guys can't have exemptions now."