Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva has been suspended for nine months due to failing a drug test for elevated testosterone levels in his fight with Mark Hunt two weeks ago in Brisbane, Australia. This sucks because the greatest heavyweight fight in MMA history is now marred in controversy.
Silva was granted approval for TRT therapy, but his levels were still above the allowable limit. The actual level is unknown as of the time of this post. The former UFC heavyweight title challenger posted the following response on his Facebook account.
“Clarification: Months before my fight I looked for the UFC doctor Marcio Tannure in Brazil so I could start the hormonal replacement “TRT” which was authorized and recognized by a professional. I started the treatment and 2 weeks before my fight I did all the exams required by the UFC. My testosterone level continued to be low so I was recommended by the doctor to increase the dosage. Unfortunately my level increased too much and caused me to suspend. I only did what was recommended by someone trained who understands about the subject therefore it was not my mistake. I’m cool because I know that the mistake was not made by me, I never tried doing anything wrong for my fight.”
I’m not saying Silva was trying to cheat but his statement clearly shows a lack of understanding of the TRT process. You should always consult your doctor on medical issues and heed their advice. However, as a professional fighter, it is your responsibility to know what you are putting into your body. Not being able to comprehend the full extent of how a medical procedure works and having blind faith in a doctor regarding this particular situation is just irresponsible.
If this is a mistake on Silva’s part, it’s an expensive one. His $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus will now go to Mark Hunt, and future prospects of being a legitimate drawing card for the UFC, which would have meant bigger paydays, is gone. It’s hard to give Silva the benefit of the doubt since he tested positive for anabolic steroids following his Elite XC heavyweight title victory in 2008.
The combative masterpiece that fans rejoiced over is now a bout of uncertainty because we’ll never know if we saw the true tenacity of ‘Bigfoot’ that evening. While he is now just another statistic in the TRT debate, the drug test failure shouldn’t diminish Mark Hunt’s role in all of this. It takes two to tango, and he took a tremendous amount of punishment under dangerous and imbalanced circumstances. Mark Hunt is a badass, pure and simple.