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Thiago’s excuse: Steroid made me retain water (for real)

If you weren’t reading our play by play of UFC 85, then shame on you! You probably missed the part where we talked about Alves’ reasons for missing weight, namely an injured ankle. While there’s been a lot of talk and speculation on how the whole thing was handled, here’s the situation from start to finish from Thiago’s mouth:

“I sprained my ankle really, really bad, the Thursday the week before the fight at the sparring session. I was out for three days and I couldn’t do much. I couldn’t walk and I took an x-ray and everything,” Alves explained during an appearance on MMAWeekly Radio on Monday night. “I didn’t break anything, but I sprained the ankle. The ligament was really bad, everything was really swollen, so I just did physical therapy.”

Immediately, Alves took it upon himself to notify his manager and the management of the Ultimate Fighting Championship about the injury.

“I called my manager, Mr. Dan Lambert, and I told him to call Joe Silva and everything, to ask permission so I could take a cortisone shot, that was pretty much it. I couldn’t do anything for three days, so my weight got really heavy,” Alves commented. “I couldn’t work out. When you take a cortisone shot, you kind of hold water in your body, and I was doing fine, but the last four pounds I couldn’t make it, I couldn’t do it. I sat in the sauna; it was really bad. I apologize to the UFC, I apologize to all my fans.”

You may remember that cortisone is a steroid. While it’s not the steroid of choice for hulking bodybuilders by any stretch of the imagination, the UFC is still lucky that they’re running on their own rules in the UK. Back when they first announced they’d be taking care of their own drug testing overseas, people called for an independent party to handle it and they said “Hey, trust us!” And while I do ‘trust’ them to a certain degree, I’d point to this as proof that when push comes to shove, they’ll let shit slide in a way that athletic commissions never would.
**UPDATE** Jackal ‘Shane’ (who is quickly proving to be way more insightful and intelligent than me, not that this is difficult to accomplish) has pointed out that various commissions have allowed fighters to have cortisone shots leading up to fights in the past. As mentioned earlier, cortisone is NOT the kind of steroid you use to cheat with, but considering the mile long list of illegal substances, I was under the impression that there was no way you’d be allowed to use it.

  • Shane

    The CSAC had no issue with Tito Ortiz taking cortisone shots for his injured back a week or two before his fight with Rashad Evans.

    However Keith Kizer from the NSAC had this to say last year:

    “Obviously marijuana and alcohol can change your reflexes, slow them down, so you can get injured, or it could numb the pain so you don’t realize you’re hurt. That’s why we don’t let fighters, for example, to have cortisone shots into their back or into their hand before they fight because they can not realize they’re hurt and they keep fighting and the next thing you know they’re permanently damaged. ”

    I’m guessing that the UFC’s reasoning is that it is acceptable to take a shot a week or two before a fight, but not on the same day of the fight.

  • Hattori Hanzo

    the way that card had been cursed I bet Joe Silva wasthe one thainjected him

  • Carcass

    Cortisone, as the name implies is a CORTICOSTEROID, which is totally different to an ANABOLIC steroid.

    Corticosteroids are what people with asthma and arthritis take.

  • garth

    thats why those asthmatics are always so bulky.

  • Houston “Glass Jaw” Alexander

    I have taken cortisone for intestinal problems. It’s actually the last thing an athlete would want to take, especially leading up to a fight. Not only does it cause you to retain water (in a serious way), it actually works by converting muscle into fat (in very basic terms). No controversy here, IMO.

  • MacDaddy

    Cortisone used to be used to mask anabolics by various cheaters, but the tests are so much more sensitive now that I guess they’re not so worried about it.

  • Fightgeek

    Cortisone used to be used as a masking well as the diuertic he got caught using before.

  • Carcass

    Yeah and its also used to PROMOTE THE HEALING OF CONNECTIVE TISSUE INJURIES…you dumbass conspiracy theorists.

  • CrazySpic

    hey Fightlinker, what are you stupid?!!!
    cortisone is a *corticosteroid* produced in the cortex of you suprarenal glands (on top of your kidneys).
    it’s not a sex hormone and doesn’t have any anabolic or muscle-building properties (it doesn’t even bind to the “androgen-receptor”); actually, it’s a catabolic compound detrimental to anabolism. it’s main use is as an anti-inflammatory. trust me, injecting this shit at a site of inflamm. won’t give you the slightest competitive edge.

  • smoogleton

    lol Fightlinker, why do you insist on repremanding fighters when you know so little about the sport? This has to be like the 12th time you’ve been so off the mark you had to make a half-assed apology after the fact.

  • fightlinker

    Well, over 2 years and 2500 posts, I’ve only had to do it 10 times, and half of those were for mixing up Thiagos and James Thompson / Josh Thomson.

    I’m interested in knowing if I’m really that clueless about the sport. Perhaps the site’s next bet will be against one of yous guys who thinks I’m dumb … have a third party admin a trivia test and we’ll see who wins.