Last night on UFC on FX 8, we saw that an old dog can still learn new tricks. The “TRTnom,” Vitor Belfort, gave us the knockout of the year over Luke Rockhold. That didn’t sit well with Brian Stann, who tweeted that he has seen a noticeable difference in speed and power when training with guys pre and post TRT.
Vitor Belfort is developing new skills at age 36 and that is a testament to the effectiveness of the treatment. Prior to his head-kick knockout of Michael Bisping, Belfort mostly stuck to punching dudes in the face with his incredibly fast hands. Yet in the last two fights, Belfort has discovered new-found proficiency for kicking dudes in the face.
In my mind, it is great to see fighters like Belfort able to extend their careers and give us more amazing, highlight reel knockouts. Why wouldn’t fighters to recover from injury faster and have longer careers? Many people were disappointed with BJ Penn’s career because he had all the skills in the world but didn’t do everything in his power to be a great fighter. Belfort is using everything within legal means to improve himself as a fighter. You can argue that performance enhancing drugs are dangerous for the health of fighters. However, there are 13 million men that also have lowered testosterone levels. They also receive the same injections that Belfort receives. Belfort may have developed lowered testosterone levels by taking illegal PEDs in the past, but he has already served his time for those transgressions. TRT, on the other hand, is legal.
If you want to get mad at someone for the issue of TRT, get mad at lawmakers and athletic commissions who allow the perceived “loophole” to continue to exist. Don’t blame fighters for legally improving their careers.
Like any drug, steroids are dangerous if abused. But under the guidance of medical professionals, performance enhancing drugs can be used relatively safely. If they were regulated and monitored, PEDs could help fighters recover from injuries faster. Also, if everyone is taking them, then there isn’t a competitive advantage; everyone would be on an even playing field. As it stands today, a good majority of fighters take PEDs even though they are illegal anyway. If they were legal it would gives fighters like Belfort the opportunity to knock even more guys out for our viewing pleasure.
Photo Credit – Jason da Silva – USA Today Sports