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Chael Sonnen vs Luke Thomas


wandshogun09

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22 minutes ago, David said:

Yeah, but we can't penalise guys for fighting within the rules, can we? And we can't penalise them because they may have been on something. 

Of course not. But it does put Bisping and Sonnen's respective performances into perspective. We know that Bisping matched Sonnen while being at a certain disadvantage due to TRT. We also know that TRT users struggled greatly when its usage was later banned. It's thus not unreasonable to suggest that the TRT variable flattered Sonnen in comparison to cleaner fighters. 

You have posted on here in the past that you believe that Fedor's career was flattered by steroid usage in Japan. While I don't fully agree with that belief, I do agree that he probably used steroids in Pride. However, neither of us have definitive proof that he was on something. Or that it gave him an advantage over fighters that apparently didn't use PEDs in Pride (Big Nog, Hendo, etc). Officially he didn't break any rules either. 

Edited by jimufctna24
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Sonnen was a good fighter who got opportunities well above his level due to his mic skills. I think that's pretty simple and obvious. For me, his legacy is showing some younger fighters the importance of calling people out, trash talk etc. in getting ahead in your career vs the "i'll fight whoever they put in front of me lol" mob.

Had a very patchy career up until his 2nd / star making UFC run. Even that started fairly badly as he was quickly and spectacularly destroyed by Maia. Didn't he use a lat drop and transition immediately into a triangle for the finish? I have vague memories of it being a totally spectacular finish.

Even just ignoring the PED's (on the basis that we just have to assume most people were on them in that era anyway) his best run of form was the Miller, Okami and Marquardt victories in a row. Good fighters but not exactly the sort of wins that make you an all time great.

Was finished by Filho, Silva x 2, Jones, Tito, Fedor, Lyoto and more. I don't think being able to say you fought a who's who and got absolutely battered by the majority is all that great of a claim.

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1 hour ago, jimufctna24 said:

Of course not. But it does put Bisping and Sonnen's respective performances into perspective. We know that Bisping matched Sonnen while being at a certain disadvantage due to TRT. We also know that TRT users struggled greatly when its usage was later banned. It's thus not unreasonable to suggest that the TRT variable flattered Sonnen in comparison to cleaner fighters.

It's worth remembering that Sonnen's legal TRT use only raised his levels to a normal range, so it was more a case of evening out the playing field between him and his opponents, it didn't put him at an advantage over Bisping. 

It's also worth bearing in mind that the very reason that TRT replacement was introduced and legalised was due to the well substantiated links between low testosterone in certain fighters (usually those in their 30's and over) and long-term weight cutting. It affects many who come from a wrestling background, and is apparently something that a lot of former college wrestlers who don't even compete in sports later in life have to deal with.

The one fight where he had levels far beyond any normal range was the fight he got busted and dealt with. 

 

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6 minutes ago, David said:

It's worth remembering that Sonnen's legal TRT use only raised his levels to a normal range, so it was more a case of evening out the playing field between him and his opponents, it didn't put him at an advantage over Bisping. 

The belief was that users were training at huge levels (of testosterone) for their whole camp then tapering down to get to normal levels before the fight. 

Also:

Quote

 

In the span of a couple years, there seemed to be an epidemic of hypogonadism sweeping through the ranks of MMA. It was positively shocking how many seemingly healthy and fit professional athletes were actually suffering from this very rare condition. Or, as Dr. Don Catlin of the UCLA Olympic Analytic Lab put it: ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs just a farce that is perpetuated in MMA. It is doping. It is cheating. It is both.‚ÄĚ

Catlin, who helped develop the carbon-isotope ratio test to screen for the presence of synthetic testosterone, was one of the strongest voices against TRT in MMA. In interview after interview, he pointed out that synthetic testosterone was a powerful performance-enhancer, even a preferred one for sports like MMA, with the ability to give a fighter a clear advantage over an opponent. Beyond that, actual hypogonadism requiring testosterone use was also exceptionally rare. As a member of the committee that reviewed TUE applications for Olympic athletes, Catlin was fond of pointing out that he could only recall one person in 20 years who had received permission to use testosterone, ‚Äúand that was for someone who had no testicles.‚ÄĚ

According to several doctors and scientists who weighed in over the years, the most likely culprit for low testosterone among pro fighters (assuming it was a condition that existed at all) was prior steroid use. That had the potential to shut down the body’s ability to produce testosterone naturally, sometimes for years. And if a fighter had essentially given himself this condition, likely through prior doping, should state athletic commissions really be sanctioning further doping as a remedy? Wasn’t that not only rewarding cheaters, but punishing the clean fighters who had to compete against them?

 

 

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1 hour ago, Ironic Indie Lad said:

Even that started fairly badly as he was quickly and spectacularly destroyed by Maia. Didn't he use a lat drop and transition immediately into a triangle for the finish? I have vague memories of it being a totally spectacular finish.

Indeed it was. 

78043CCC-9084-4AE3-9D59-DC56B532771D.gif

...then seamlessly into a triangle choke. 

On the ‚Äėgood not great‚Äô thing, listening to Luke explain it I took that as him just meaning the ‚Äėgreats‚Äô as the all-time greats like Jon Jones, GSP, Anderson Silva etc with Chael being a tier beneath that. I think it was more than fair and not meant as the slight Chael‚Äôs made it out to be.¬†

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31 minutes ago, jimufctna24 said:

The belief was that users were training at huge levels (of testosterone) for their whole camp then tapering down to get to normal levels before the fight.

Then surely the best approach would be to run testing throughout fight camps, as they do now? Test the levels of those using TRT replacement therapy?

And yeah, steroid use can be a reason for it, but in all honesty there's many human conditions that can be blamed on steroid use, isn't there? Another factor is weight cutting, that's well documented too.

Has Sonnen ever been popped for steroid use previously? 

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1 minute ago, David said:

Has Sonnen ever been popped for steroid use previously?¬†ÔĽŅ

Oh come on now

Think of all the people who have absolutely 100% been on the gas and never pissed hot. You had to be a mong to fail pre-USADA. I can only assume there was next to no testing in Bodog, Rings, Pancrase, Sportfight etc.

I think its fairly well documented that if you massively increase your bodies test production through unnatural means, your body will stop its natural production. This is why either insanely low or insanely high test has alarm bells ringing.

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7 minutes ago, Ironic Indie Lad said:

Think of all the people who have absolutely 100% been on the gas and never pissed hot.

If they've never "pissed hot" then how do you know 100% that they've been on the gas? You selling them their steroids? Peeking over the cubicle in the gym toilets as they jag themselves on the arse?

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2 minutes ago, David said:

Then surely the best approach would be to run testing throughout fight camps, as they do now? Test the levels of those using TRT replacement therapy?

And yeah, steroid use can be a reason for it, but in all honesty there's many human conditions that can be blamed on steroid use, isn't there? Another factor is weight cutting, that's well documented too.

Has Sonnen ever been popped for steroid use previously? 

1) Agreed. The UFC actually turned a blind eye to a lab report that indicated that Belfort was abusing TRT. The UFC went on to book Belfort in Brazil for his next few fights, where commissions took a very liberal view on drug testing.  

2) Possibly. But steroid use has been pinpointed as the mostly likely cause of low testosterone. 

3) Not that I am aware of. I doubt he was tested for a lot of his fights outside the UFC. He did later get busted for EPO, HGH and other banned substances in a out of competition test. He claims he needed to use some of those substances to wean himself help off testosterone. However, that doesn't explain why he used EPO and HGH, clear performance enhancing compounds. 

Now, do I have any proof that Sonnen was using HGH or other PEDs before he started using TRT? No. But given his later transgressions, and the widespread belief that most fighters were using banned substances before the USADA era kicked in, it is not unreasonable to suspect that he might have been. As you suspect, albeit reasonably, that a lot of Pride fighters were juiced to the gills. USADA has serious shortcomings and have been involved in some dodgy incidents. However, it is clear that drug testing has become more stringent since they took over. It's harder to beat the tests these days. 

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The eye test doesn't lie, brother. I've been around MMA/Grappling gyms and weights rooms for half my life. I have a pretty good gauge of who is natural and who is using what based on seeing actual examples of people cycling on and off.

Think of all the absolute wildest physiques in MMA. Do you really believe just because they didn't fail a urine test at a very specific time that they are clean? They just happened to have the absolute perfect combination of genetics, training, diet and supplementation?

And also its pretty widely accepted that pre-USADA MMA was pretty much a lovely big drug free for all frenzy. Chael has literally come out and said he took things that he was never caught for.

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He says it near the end of that video I posted on page 1, Jim. 

Around 12:30 into that video @jimufctna24 is what you want. 

 

Something like;

‚ÄĚWhen they came back with the list of all the things in my system I breathed a sigh of relief that they didn‚Äôt find all the rest.‚Ä̬†

Edited by wandshogun09
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To be fair, I think he's just running with it at this point. He was asked during the Bellator fight week what kept him going at 42 and he said "faith, family and Human Growth Hormone."

Having seen him at the weigh-ins, i'm not sure he was on HGH.

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