Now tell me if this ain’t the pot calling the kettle black. A 33-year-old heavyweight who tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone just 20 months ago is now thinking aloud whether reigning UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez hasn’t been taking performance-enhancing drugs his whole career.
Veteran Ben Rothwell (pictured), who is three days removed from a submission victory over Matt Mitrione, appeared as a guest on “The MMA Hour” Monday and hinted that Velasquez will perform far differently when the UFC’s enhanced drug testing policy kicks in next month.
“Let’s see what happens after July 1, when the advance testing starts kicking in,” Rothwell said. “Let’s see if [Velasquez is] still fighting the same way he has. I doubt it. I’m not implying anything, what I’m just saying, I don’t believe every division is going to look the same after July 1st. If anyone takes offense to that, maybe they ought to look at themselves and look at their problems.”
“I’m not implying anything”? Really?
Sure, Rothwell was granted a therapeutic-use exemption for TRT when he tested positive after his TKO victory over an already undersized Brandon Vera, but that doesn’t change the fact that his testosterone levels were beyond the permitted limits. The initial point of permitting TRT in MMA was to allow those with low testosterone to bring their levels back up to normal ranges.
For all intense and purposes, Rothwell cheated that night – whether he wants to admit it publicly or not. That’s why the UFC suspended him nine months and he didn’t fight the ban.
Velasquez, who has never flunked a drug test during his nine-year professional career, was surprised his name of all people would come out of Rothwell’s mouth as someone who is on PEDs given his flabby physique.
“I don’t know. Not being a guy who’s known for his physique, known for not being on anything. I’ve been tested before numerous times, before and after all my fights the day of,” Velasquez said during Monday’s UFC 188 media luncheon in Los Angeles (courtesy of MMAFighting.com). “You want to test me right now?”
Interestingly enough, Rothwell is right. There will be plenty of fighters in every division that will likely look and perform differently once the UFC’s random drug testing policy beings. There will probably also be plenty of athletes looking to drop to smaller weight classes.
But “I’m not “implying anything,” though…
However, for a cheater to accuse a champion who has never failed a drug test of cutting corners is irresponsible. Chael Sonnen and Stephan Bonnar probably think Rothwell is out of line.