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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson continues to talk about his testosterone replacement therapy ahead of his UFC 144 bout with Ryan Bader, and the more he discusses the subject the worse it looks for him and the UFC.
In a new lengthy interview with Karyn Bryant at MMAHeat.com, Jackson now says the reason he went with TRT was to be "on a level playing field" with the rest of the division.
"Well, the reason that I took it was, I heard that organizations like to have all the fighters on a level playing field," Jackson said (transcribed by Brent Brookhouse at BloodyElbow.com). "My test was really low and I was told by some doctors to bring it up to 600. My doctor said I should bring it up to 800 because some guys are naturally at like 1100. Say a guy like Cheick Kongo. You see how he's ripped and stuff all the time? Totally natural. But they said he might be 1100 naturally. So why should I be at 6? I did it fair! I said okay, I did 6. I don't care. I didn't want mines at what it was, it was really low."
Rampage finally named his main doctor, who he stated was a "UFC doctor" before clarifying that he was simply paid by the UFC.
"My doctor...Dr. Kessler he sees me and he automatically gets paid by the UFC," Rampage tried to explain. "He'll call the UFC and tell the UFC what I need. I'm not used to that, before I didn't do this. The UFC pays for everything. That's what I was saying in the interview..."
"I went back to Dr. Kessler he said well... if you depend on fighting you gotta go meet this doctor right here, Dr. K. He's a Russian guy, very smart and he said they'll put you on some... age management or something. He'll know what to do to make you heal faster. So I did that and sat down and talked to him and he explained everything to me."
"I got blood tests every week to test my levels and everything and I made sure I didn't go over the level. It helped me good enough to do the fight."
So now it's gone from Rampage needing TRT for low testosterone levels to his doctor saying, "see this guy, he'll make you heal faster." Rampage's handling of this issue continues to be bungled, and it comes off as an extremely shady - at best - explanation or attempt to rationalize his use of TRT.
Penick's Analysis: A little bit of googling brings up a Dr. Kessler out of Orange County, Calif., who has a picture with Rampage in a YouTube video as the "Orange County Fight Doctor." He's a chiropractor by trade who does other services as well, but certainly doesn't appear to be any type of true sports doctor. So this doctor says "if you want to fight with your injured knees, go to this doctor who will help you heal with age management." He didn't get diagnosed by an endocrinologist, he didn't undergo a series of tests to make that diagnoses, and it was used specifically to help him heal faster. That's using TRT as a performance enhancer, that's exactly what this was done for. He's seeing it as a medically diagnosed use, and frankly he's ignorant to what these "doctors" have done for him. Again, whether this type of treatment, or performance enhancers in general, should be legalized across the board is a different argument entirely. As it stands, this is a loophole in the system with TRT right now, and if he used these arguments to try to get a therapeutic use exemption for it with a proper commission I don't think he'd be granted one.
[Rampage Jackson art by Cory Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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