Former UFC champion Rich Franklin knows he isn’t getting any younger these days.

“Ace” will return to the Octagon at UFC 147 later this month to meet Wanderlei Silva in a catchweight bout at 195 pounds. Franklin stepped in to replace Vitor Belfort for the battle with Silva in Brazil.

While appearing on a recent episode of The MMA Hour, Franklin discussed the use of testosterone replacement therapy. At 37 years old, Franklin knows it could help, but isn’t prepared to go down that road yet.

“I’m not sure if that’s something I want to do or how I want to approach that, because TRT is….once you start that process it’s a permanent fixture. Once you start putting those hormones in your body – those synthetic hormones – then your body is not going to produce its own hormones any more, and so you really have to think carefully. My levels are still decently healthy for a male, but they’re not high enough to continue a prolonged career at a top level for many more years.”

The use of TRT continues to be a major story in MMA, as such fighters as Chael Sonnen and Frank Mir have requested exemptions to use it in training. The rules are laid out for those that request and are granted the exemption, and Mir is one of those that passed all the tests before and after his recent fight with Junior dos Santos.

Photo credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog