UFC light heavyweight Dan Henderson (pictured) turned back the hands of time in Sunday’s dramatic come-from-behind TKO victory over former champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. However, what happens now since the fountain of youth that has helped prolong Henderson’s illustrious career has run dry?
Last night’s tango was intriguing for many reasons. It was the first fight on Henderson’s new UFC contract extension, yet it would have marked his fourth straight loss had the 43-year-old’s fortunes not turned in the third round. Most importantly, it was the last time testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) would be allowed inside the Octagon.
Henderson, who has been reportedly on the controversial treatment since 2007, was one of the first (if not, the first) mixed martial artist to publicly disclose his TRT use. Chael Sonnen put it on the map after his submission loss to Anderson Silva in 2010, while Vitor Belfort has become the face of TRT due to his late career resurgence.
After the Nevada State Athletic Commission voted unanimously last month to finally banish TRT, the UFC promptly followed suit and said they would no longer permit their athletes to take the medically prescribed treatment for oversees events they sanctioned due to the lack of an MMA governing body.
Because Henderson requested and was granted a therapeutic-use exemption (TUE) for TRT prior to the NSAC’s monumental ruling, the UFC allowed Henderson one final hurrah with TRT. Henderson certainly made the most of it.
After yesterday’s highlight reel finish, Henderson said he would love to make one last run at the light heavyweight crown before calling it quits. Unfortunately for Hendo, he knows he’ll have to do it without his magic potion.
Henderson withdrew his TUE submission for TRT prior to last June’s split decision defeat to Rashad Evans at UFC 161 because he believed the Manitoba Combative Sports Commission, the committee that sanctioned the Winnipeg event, would deny his request. Henderson said he simply stopped taking TRT six to eight weeks before the fight.
The absence of TRT didn’t work out too well for Henderson then, but he’s hoping the final chapter of his career will fare better without the synthetic boost. One thing’s for sure, MMA fans can finally close the book on TRT.