It looks like we can add Rampage Jackson to the list of known fighters who are using testosterone replacement therapy.
In a post-UFC 144 interview with Fighters Only Magazine, Rampage Jackson revealed that he started taking injections of testosterone prior to UFC 144 when an “age-management” doctor discovered that his natural testosterone levels were low. The intention was to speed up the recovery of his knee but it also had several other unexpected, albeit positive effects on his body.
I almost pulled out (of UFC 144 with a knee injury) but then I went to see the doctor and he told me to talk to an age-management doctor. So I went and talked to them and they tested me and said my testosterone was low; they prescribed me testosterone, to bring my testosterone levels back up to levels where I can be like… so that I am the same as young people, like when I was 25, and it would help build my knee up. I hurt my knee like a month ago and I only did three shots of testosterone but it put a lot of weight on me, a lot of muscle on me but it healed me knee up good enough to where I could fight.
It was hard for me to train, it takes time to heal, I couldn’t do certain things, but this was my first time ever using testosterone. I took what the doctor prescribed to me and I went to the pharmacy… I gave myself small doses and that shit immediately changed me, that’s why I am saying now I am not going to retire. I am not gonna retire no time soon, its just unfortunate that I got this injury.
I started hitting it up pretty good, I still gotta take care of my knee but I feel like a 25 year old again. My sex life changed, I was back to five times a night like when I was 25, straight up. I got stronger, lifting weights. I was never good at lifting weights but I was doing everything, pull ups and stuff, everything with my top half. I gained a lot of weight but I gained a lot of water as well, I never knew about testosterone putting weight on you like that. I had to cut weight [for the fight] and I cut 22 pounds out of the 30 I needed to cut, I just couldn’t make the rest. I couldn’t make the rest.
TRT has definitely emerged as one of the more controversial topics in recent years. Athletic commissions have found it acceptable if the fighter truly needs it for natural reasons, however it also has a high potential for abuse that is rarely, if ever, simple to identify. No one ever really knows if fighters take it because their bodies just stopped producing testosterone naturally or if they abused steroids in the past and need it to bring their testosterone back up to normal levels. And in some cases, such as with Chael Sonnen and Nate Marquardt, questions emerge about whether fighters were using it for its performance-enhancing abilities when they test above normal thresholds.
It’s definitely a slippery-slope, but as far as Rampage is concerned, he’s not doing anything wrong whatsoever despite the fact that he enjoyed many obvious and immediate benefits from it.
Well to be honest with you I first learned about testosterone… I don’t know about health and drugs and stuff because I don’t really deal with it. I was never really big into it. So I was like ‘testosterone? No I’m not going to do that, that’s like steroids’ but then the doctor is like ‘no, steroids is stuff mixed with testosterone or other stuff, you can get steroids that do all types of things. Steroids for your cardio, for your muscles. Testosterone is all natural, its what your body produces.’
He was saying its like age management, it will turn back the clock and help heal you up. So I talked to my team and I really wanted to fight in Japan – coz you know I did all this stuff to fight in Japan and not in Chicago – and so I couldn’t give up and miss Japan. Everyone knows I love Japanese fans, they helped me become the fighter that I am, they gave me the energy and stuff. It was a hard decision but I was like ‘you know what, I am gonna do it. It will make me young and help me fight longer, which I want to.’
I keep it real, I am not doing anything wrong. Its legal and I am not abusing it and I am not going over certain levels. From what I learned about it, when I got tested my levels my levels were really low and the doctor was telling me that athletes can burn testosterone.
For the sake of argument, let’s assume that Rampage doesn’t need it due to any past steroid use (not suggesting he has used steroids before to be clear) and isn’t using it to gain an unfair advantage over his opponents. So taking his comments at face value, what Rampage is basically suggesting here is that he is now taking a substance that will allow him to feel younger and fight longer than he would without it due to a natural decline in testosterone.
And I’m not sure how I feel about that. On one hand, it allows him to extend his career and give us fans more years of entertainment than he would without it. But on the other, it is enhancing his performance even if it’s not enhancing it to a point to where it gives him an unfair advantage over his opposition (assuming his isn’t surpassing normal levels). So I don’t know, what do you think? Should it be okay to allow a fighter to extend his career via artificial means?
On a lighter note, Rampage also said that Joe Rogan talked to him “like a man” and they “squashed” their beef from last week. He also revealed that he makes music as a hobby, but liked this “hit” he just made so much he plans to release it to his fans.