Dan Henderson Feeling ‘Pretty Good’ Off TRT, but Doesn’t Think Banning it Solved the Real Problem

May 19, 2014
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Dan HendersonFormer two-division Pride champion and future UFC Hall of Famer Dan Henderson was the first fighter to receive a therapeutic exemption for the use of testosterone replacement therapy in Nevada in 2007. On Feb. 27, 2014, the Nevada State Athletic Commission banned the use of TRT and discontinued the practice of granting therapeutic exemptions for athletes using the controversial treatment.

The 43-year-old Henderson was the last fighter to receive a therapeutic exemption for TRT in Brazil for his last fight at UFC Fight Night 38 on March 23. The Brazilian commission, like many athletic commissions, also banned the use of TRT following Nevada’s ruling.

During a recent appearance on AXS TV’s Inside MMA (watch video here), Henderson said that Nevada’s ban on TRT didn’t address the real problem of athletes abusing performance-enhancing drugs.

“I just felt maybe they weren’t as educated as they could have been on the whole TRT usage and didn’t tackle the real problems of people abusing. They’re going to abuse drugs no matter what. And these guys that they’ve already tested more than anyone else, they kind of dropped the hammer on them instead of across-the-board implementing random drug testing and no-advanced-notice drug testing,” said Henderson. “I feel like that’s the way to handle things and to really clean up the sport. To do what they did, it may be just being uneducated about it or (they) just don’t care.”

Henderson faces undefeated Daniel Cormier on May 24 in the co-main event of UFC 173 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Having gone through the training camp without the use of TRT, Henderson said he hasn’t noticed that big of a difference.

“I’m feeling pretty good. Maybe lay on the couch a little bit more than I used to. But I laid on the couch quite a bit before too,” he joked. “It’s all about making sure you train hard and train smart. And I did that before I was on TRT. I did during and now as well. I’ve won fights and lost fights with it and without it. I really don’t notice too big a difference competition-wise. But hopefully I make a statement that it doesn’t matter in this fight.”

While Henderson is hoping to make a statement against Cormier on May 24 that it doesn’t matter if he’s on TRT or not, he’s in a no-win situation. If he proves that he’s the same without it, then he never needed to be on it. If he doesn’t perform well, then it will be said it was because he was off of it.

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  • Mark McDowall

    Can anyone else hear that….It sounds like “pretty good” is the beginning of a possible excuse for if/when he looses. I hope to god that Hendo puts DC on his over hyped backside…but this will be his out if he doesn’t. And if he doesn’t and he puts the H-Bomb on him and knocks him in to next week…then its more proof that the TRT was just an added bonus…

    • P-Pac

      TRT an added bonus? to suffer from a medical problem and be stripped of your medication, some bonus..

      • Mark McDowall

        If it was medically necessary then he wouldn’t be able to fight or LIVE without it. If he performs just as well without it and can live with no issues then it is not necessary and it was by definition a PED.

        • P-Pac

          Viagra is a prescription medication- to get it you need to show you need it – you can live without it, you can fight without it…

          • Mark McDowall

            Viagra isn’t a banned substance by all the major athletic commissions…so your comment is pointless and stupid.

            All these guys were claiming that they had to be on TRT for whatever reason. If they HAD to be on it…how come they are all now off of it and still able to function??

          • P-Pac

            you mean Mir Chael Vitor Dufee and henderson–im pretty sure you dont know what trt does

  • DamianCross

    I’m glad Hendo made these statements now. It sounds like he was using it for legit medical reasons outside of the sport and he’s not too happy about having his meds taken away just because others abused them.He comes off as realistic rather than rambling on about how he could die and he has to retire, etc.

    • Hugh Shakeshaft

      I see a big difference between Hendo and Vitor. I’d be curiious to compare their test levels. I’m guessing Vitor is way higher.

  • Guest

    Dan is going to get beat up worse than he ever has in his life…He will be taken down at will and pounded on….

    • TheCerealKiller

      I picking Dan to win!!!!

      • Joe Dog

        Why? How? Henderson’s only chance is a “Hail Mary” punch. It could happen but the above (Tomas) scenario is likely to play out. Henderson will get plenty of time to study the ceiling of the MGM Grand Arena and Cormier’s fists will get a workout.

        • TheCerealKiller

          Yah!! Go Dan! Dan’s #1

          • Tomas

            You do remember Jake Shields beating Dan right? Dan has always had a problem against freestyle wrestlers and HE has never faced one like Daniel. I actually feel sorry for Dan Henderson. It will be a mauling.

  • George Sperry

    If he doesn’t notice much difference off TRT why did he NEED it in the first place?

    • Mike mckinney

      Because very few of the meds make much of a difference at all. There are no superman pills out there even though people act like there are.
      I’m familiar with this specific treatment so I’ll explain how it effects you.
      When your level are really low, and you take T, it can make you feel something quite strongly.
      However, when you go off the meds the feeling down is quite gradual. You won’t really notice much change. When he retires, and gets back on he’ll feel good for a week or two until he gets used to it again.

  • Josh Nance

    I hate ignorance. Blaming “TRT” as a performance enhancing drug????!!! God damn boys? Any research or wait, no, they just banned it without asking. Biggest side effect of testosterone is increased libido when taken at TRT levels (200mg/wk roughly).
    Even at 750mg/week you just arent gonna notice that much difference. Sorry, the jury is IN on that one, science backs it up. You may have the ability to hold muscle longer while NOT training, you will hold more water, your blood pressure might be slightly elevated but those arent benefits to a fighter. Why dont they test for EPO or Anavar like every day. Or trenbolone? I can also tell you that these fighters most likely just switched to using that chitty topical stuff along with an aromatase inhibitor instead of a normal once weekly shot of cyp or enanthate. That way blood levels can be back down to normal within hours, not 10 to 17 days like on a long ester’ed shot. Now henderson is fighting with a test level of, i promise you, less that 200ng/dl, maybe under 100! THAT isnt fair

    • Mark McDowall

      I agree with you that T levels should be at a certain point otherwise your body doesnt act the same. BUT…if your body in it’s natural state…no additional pills or potions does not produce enough T to maintain your being able to fight then you shouldn’t be fighting. If you have to take a medication to bring you up to a higher level to still be competetive, that is by definition a performance enhancer.

      My dad is on a T regiment…at 67 years old…you can tell when he has just had a top up because he’s out playing 18 holes then doing stuff around the house…goes out and rides his bike etc. But when he’s low…he’s lathargic and not as energetic as he is when he’s on it…and he is on a relatively low dose from what I understand from his doctor.

  • Josh Nance

    The guy is over 40, why would he NOT be taking test for an honest medical reason as well? He’d be doing this if he werent a fighter.

    • TheCerealKiller

      How many guys over 40 do you know that are on TRT? I’m close and I don’t know one. I won’t be doing it or any of my friends. It’s called getting old!