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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
With Nate Marquardt breaking his silence this week on just what led to his removal from UFC on Versus 4 last weekend - and more information coming out about his issues with testosterone replacement therapy - UFC President Dana White was able to give a little more follow-up on his thoughts on the situation and why Marquardt is officially done in the UFC.
Speaking with Ariel Helwani at MMAFighting.com, and cleared up why Saturday in Pittsburgh was his final straw with Marquardt.
"No I will not [bring him back]," he reiterated. "This is a tough thing for me to talk about. It's tough to talk about stuff like this when you can't talk about it. The way I look at it, you know he already tested positive for steroids once. Then he has this issue in New Jersey, and now this issue here going into [Pittsburgh]. It's an issue. People are like 'give him a second chance.' This would be a fourth chance."
A fourth chance for Marquardt is not something White is willing to give. When Helwani asked him if he believed Marquardt was using testosterone replacement therapy or if he was trying to cheat, White spelled it out clearly.
"Do I think he was trying to cheat? Let's put it this way, he was either trying to cheat, or he has a horrible doctor," White said. "You tell me, which one is it, I don't know. This is one of those things where I can't talk about this guy's medical records but it's pretty clear what this is."
White talked up how nice Marquardt is and why it makes this situation harder, saying how much easier it is to lash out at some others in these situations.
"Nate Marquardt's a really nice guy," White said. "He's sweet, he's polite, he's very humble. But it is what it is. Like I said to the media earlier, it's a lot easier to go after Josh Barnett. He's abrasive and rude, and he's a d***. It's easier to point at Josh Barnett and go, 'ugh, Josh Barnett.' What's the difference? The difference is Nate Marquardt is really nice, and a real humble and sweet guy."
The next part of the conversation took an interesting turn, as White weighed in on the issue of testosterone replacement therapy in the sport, and his thoughts on those using who test above normal levels of testosterone.
"I'm no doctor but this whole testosterone replacement therapy I guess is basically for guys who get to a certain age, which is normally supposed to be in your 40s, or even 50s where your testosterone levels start to drop so they give you just a little bit to keep a young man's level," White said. "These guys who used steroids before have trouble producing testosterone so they have to bump their levels up. But when your levels get bumped above what it normally should be, that's performance enhancing, as far as I'm concerned and I'm sure as far as many athletic commissions are concerned.
"It's an ugly loophole. I think there [are] guys that need to do it because they have to, but then there [are] guys doing it because you can do it, because you can say 'I'm in here for testosterone replacement.' If you're a professional athlete, you should be going to a credible doctor who says 'yes you need this thing because your testosterone is low and we're going to give you [a small amount] to boost you up to the right levels' and when you do your blood tests your levels should be what a normal guy's levels should be."
Despite this stance, White still spoke kindly of Chael Sonnen earlier in the interview, and continues to hope to get him back in the cage.
"Chael Sonnen, I think a lot of people want to see Sonnen fight," he said. "This guy made some bad choices, made some mistakes, has paid his dues and now he gets to come back and hopefully do things smarter this time."
Penick's Analysis: I agree with just about everything White had to say in regards to Marquardt and TRT, which makes it all the more maddening that he doesn't apply the same standards and reactions to Sonnen when he was popped for elevated levels and is on TRT. I get that he feels Sonnen has paid his dues, but when he comes back he's going to still be on TRT. He had elevated levels when he was popped before, and avoided that full punishment. He needs to get cleared for his TRT use through the same process Marquardt failed to get through with New Jersey, and like I wrote earlier this week if he fails to do that then he deserves the same treatment Marquardt got. That is especially what should be the case with White making his feelings on TRT clear and public with this interview. I'll use White's own words, if Sonnen is over the acceptable level while on this treatment, "he was either trying to cheat, or he has a horrible doctor."
[Dana White art by Cory Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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