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Rich Franklin considering testosterone use

Fans can now add UFC icon Rich Franklin to the growing list of fighters associated with the topic of testosterone use. Though the former middleweight champion has not undergone any treatments at this point in his career, “Ace” has already looked into the process of TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) and is giving it serious consideration.

Franklin spoke openly about the issue earlier today on The MMA Hour where he weighed the pros and cons of hopping on board the TRT train.

“Yeah, I’ve kicked around that idea and everything, and actually I’ve talked to doctors that work with the UFC and the athletic commission in Nevada and all that kind of stuff. And at 37, my count obviously is not what it was when I was 25, and I’m a candidate for that kind of stuff,” explained Franklin on the show, making sure to add that he hadn’t started “yet”.

The 28-6 surefire Hall of Famer’s hesitation at the moment has to due with the conflict between his desire to keep fighting and wariness about going down a road on which there is no reversing course.

“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,” admitted Franklin. “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.”

For now it appears the nine-year veteran of the UFC will see how his body holds up against Wanderlei Silva when the two collide on June 23 at UFC 147. Franklin is 2-3 in his last five fights, splitting his last two outings with a knockout of Chuck Liddell and decision loss to Forrest Griffin, but has seen his career stymied by a series of injuries including a torn shoulder labrum keeping him sidelined since October.


  • Richard Stabone says:

    At this stage of Franklin’s career, I just don’t see the upside. Sounds like he’s taken a smart, methodical approach by consulting the so-called experts before dabbling with this synthetic junk. I’m sure he’d love to continue to compete, and knows he’s at a disadvantage without TRT, but he’s accomplished a ton in the sport and figures to have his future pretty well taken care of. So I hope he avoids it.

    But for other guys who aren’t in such a fortunate position, they almost *have* to go to things like this and other PEDs in order to keep pace with the rest of the pack. And TRT is definitely not limited to the older guys approaching 40. Frank Mir started TRT’ing at age 32, and he’s a guy who only a couple years ago was packing on 40lbs of muscle in about a 6-month span to get ready to face Brock. Yet, now all of a sudden he’s lacking testosterone. It’s a silly game, but until the sport gets a better handle on things guys are really facing a dilemma when it comes to whether or not to use. Not that TRT is solely to blame; it’s just the latest *thing* in this ongoing PED game.

  • fitfreak says:

    “My levels are still decently healthy for a male”
    Then there’s no way he should be approved for TRT.

    “…but they’re not high enough to continue a prolonged career at a top level for many more years.”
    He just admitted that this is a PED, and not something to help a medical condition.

    Don’t do it Rich.

  • Lord Faust says:

    I totally respect Rich’s candor on the subject, especially admitting that he had explored it.

    Every passing day I am losing my patience with this TRT in MMA bullshit. I have nothing against Rich exploring the benefits of anti-aging science once he retires from competition.

    That said, I don’t want to add Rich to the list of guys with the asterisk beside their name. Mir’s been extremely silent since the news dropped regarding his TRT which began this year, and Hendo gets the benefit of the doubt since he claims he is tested routinely to “cover [his] ass”.

    The TUE loophole needs to be investigated. Between the spike in applications for said exemption, and the preposterous situation where Nate Marquardt states he stopped TRT because it was a “hassle”, despite the fact that TRT is a lifelong program — a point reiterated by Rich himself.

    Given the recent actions of the NSAC, I honestly don’t know what to think anymore. Initially I was OK with deferring to their judgement as, for better or worse, they normally kept their bungling to a minimum. Now, with the Overeem debacle, the Diaz case, the Bradley-Pacquiao decision, the spike in TUEs is something I no longer maintain any pretense of trusting them to properly oversee.

    VADA. Random testing. NOW.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    if you can’t perform without it then you’re not good enough to be a champion.
    you start taking something to assist your physical abilities and suddenly you can compete at the highest level.
    there’s something wrong right there
    they should only be allowed to fight in a league full of other guys who can’t fight without assistance.
    by all accounts it would be a packed league with a lot of big names

  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    Just to play devil’s advocate, at what point do you draw the line? There are plenty of legal supplements/vitamins out there that help fighters perform at a higher level than they would without them. Should those be banned as well?

  • Paulo says:

    If he is allowed to use it, whatever Doctor gives it to him should be stripped of his license to send a message to other doctors. TRT is okay if its for a medical condition. Guess what Rich? When your 37 you’re not supposed to have T-levels of a 25 year old. That doesn’t mean you’re not healthy. It means your 37. I’m tired of these vets explaining how it’s leveling the playing field. The playing field is level. Your have this very real advantage called “Experience”. What about all the 22 year olds coming up the ranks now? What they lack in experience, they make up with athleticism. Now these young guys have to deal with older fighters that have all the experience in the world AND the athleticism of a 20 something year old. If anyone is getting cheated by TRT use, it’s the young up and comers.

  • fitfreak says:

    You draw the line with anabolic androgenic steroids. No exceptions.

  • Lord Faust says:

    The concept of TRT is fine, it’s the execution and disturbing amount of grey areas in the monitoring of dosages that has everyone concerned.

    If there’s a legit process in place to ensure guys aren’t pumping themselves full of large amounts of testosterone, then I would say it’s fine; at that point it’s almost a vitamin. (Test needs to be used in gross amounts, usually with other drugs, to function as a really effective muscle builder. TRT doses, from what I understand, are supposed to be realtively small, just consistent and on-going for the purpose of bettering long term health.)

  • Dufresne says:

    I was reading an article on some other site where a physician had been interviewed and he basically said that there is a very small section of the population that would naturally need TRT in their early 30’s due to some sort of genetic or medical condition. He went on to say that he believes that the reason so many professional athletes are being approved for it now is because they do have low levels of testosterone, but that is almost certainly due to a history of steroid use and not because of a naturally occurring medical condition such as hypogonadism. He had some doubts about Chael Sonnen claiming to have hypogandism based on how hypogonadism affects physical growth and maturation.

  • Angry Mike says:

    For Rich, the “deal” is a lifetime commitment to TRT plus uncertain future consequences in exchange for a few more years in the sport. Even if he fights a lot, that’s only 5 or 6 more fights. That seems like a really bad trade to me, especially after a very successful career and plenty more years ahead as a trainer, commentator, or as a UFC representative.


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