Josh Barnett and Frank Mir have had over a decade apiece when it comes to their MixedMartial Arts careers. The UFC 164 opponents have taking very different paths, as well as very different opinions on the use of testosterone replacement therapy in MMA.
Mir, who has never tested positive for any banned substance stated that he is currently undergoing TRT that he began last year. The 34-year-old stated that he believes it is part of life, and say it is taken for reasons beyond the scope of the sport.
“Obviously, because I go to a medical doctor, it’s explained to me in a lot further detail,” Mir (16-7 MMA, 14-7 UFC) said. “I realize that being allowed to have a level of 600 (ng/mL), where it’s only 100 above the lowest mark of being deficient, I’m nowhere near performance-enhancing levels. That’s why they test us so regularly leading up to the fight, every two weeks, constantly monitoring where I’m at, so that if anybody were to try to abuse the system, [they] would immediately be flagged. So that being said, you only use it basically because it’s a deficiency, and it would cause me to have problems in other aspects of my life – personality, mood swings and whatnot.”
Barnett, who has previously failed banned-substance tests, stated he needs no such therapy. Despite his history, the 35-year-old stated that he chooses will power over the use of the therapy.
“I’m 35, but most of the camp (for Mir), I’ve been 260 pounds and fairly lean,” he said. “So I just diet, exercise and keep a clean life. I don’t think I can’t compete like I used to, to be perfectly honest. I don’t think things have changed, in terms of age and wear and tear. I try to work around other aspects. I know I’m not 22 and I can’t just go out there and bash myself against the wall every day in practice and not pay any consequences for it. But with age and intelligence comes wisdom, so I’ve figured out ways to work around that,” Barnett said.
The veteran continued by stating “But I can beat anybody in the world right now. I don’t feel like I’m struggling, which I imagine somebody with low testosterone, to the point that they would need to be given a doctor’s exemption to take synthetic testosterone, would feel. I would imagine they would feel listless, without energy, and depressed, and unable to keep muscle on or grow or lose fat, or whatever the other side effects would be from low ‘T.’ But I don’t have those side effects.”
The two fighters fought on the same card nearly eleven years ago at UFC 36. Barnett and Mir were very different men, younger but no less dangerous than they are today. Barnett’s positive test following the event changed the trajectory of the two fighters, who seemed destined to meet up. They finally had their chance to meet at UFC 164, wherein Barnett defeated Mir via knockout in the first round.
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