Robert Drysdale Flagged For Elevated Testosterone, NSAC Declines To Clear Him For UFC 167

There are bits of news that no MMA fan ever wants to hear and one of the worst has to do with a fighter failing a drug test. Today, that appears to be the case with Robert Drysdale.  

The 32 year old Brazilian Jiu Jitsu master was supposed to have made his UFC debut back in August at UFC 163, but was a scratch for the event due to a staph infection.

Now it appears that elevated Testosterone levels will prevent Drysdale’s “big show” coming out party, and as the result of an out-of-competition drug test, which placed his ratios at a whopping 3 to 1 over the allowable limit; 19.4 to 1, as opposed to 6 to 1.

To say the least, this is a disappointment.

Fans have been looking forward to the BJJ Phenom’s appearance in the light-heavyweight division for some time, now and for him to miss a second scheduled outing as the result of a failed (for the first time) drug test, and for something that the Nevada State Athletic Commission had specifically denied him use of, back in July, when he applied for a testosterone exemption waiver, will be hard for him to to defend to both fans and to the UFC.

It also begs the question as to whether or not his scratch from UFC 163 was due, legitimately, to a staph infection, or whether or not it was (simply) a convenient excuse, because he was fearful of failing a post-fight drug test, for elevated T/E levels. The facts and circumstances are pause for consideration, at least.

This is worth noting, because in Drysdale’s application to NSAC for a testosterone therapeutic use exemption or TUE, he acknowledged that his doctor had been prescribing him weekly injections of the drug for a diagnosis of hypogonadism; a condition by which the body fails to produce normal levels of testosterone.

In synopsis, this will be a blight on Drysdale’s reputation and not something that’s apt to curry favor with UFC President Dana White. To be blunt, fans shouldn’t be surprised if White washes his hands of Drysdale for this failure, and if for no other reason than the suspicion that Drysdale’s UFC 163 scratch was a ruse; that Drysdale didn’t have a staph infection, but rather blatantly lied about having it to avoid a drug test he knew he couldn’t pass.

Either way, UFC 167 will still take place on the 16th of next month in Las Vegas and the UFC will continue on, with or without, the brilliance of Robert Drysdale Jiu Jitsu skills. Again and on this issue, fans will forever wonder why talented fighters, such as Drysdale, search for answers in a needle rather than solutions in the gym. And where Drysdale’s lack of show will have no impact on the main card, it certainly diminishes the preliminary lead-in. In a word, Drysdale’s failure to pass an out-of-competition drug test is lamentable.

However and happily, Drysdale’s failure to pass said tests is evidence that NSAC is doing its job; at least regarding the subject of drug testing.

Confirmation of Drysdale’s NSAC test failure is courtesy of


  1. Profile photo of moots


    October 28, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    It's curious how common it is for fighters to suffer from a condition called hypogonadism. One must wonder how common it is for normal (non-professional athletes) people in comparison, and whether or not the fighters are in actuality 'giving' themselves hypogonadism through abuse of steroids.

    • Profile photo of Brian Cox

      Brian Cox

      October 28, 2013 at 11:10 pm

      Moots, you raise a very salient question.

      Are they faking it or is over training making, what are, young, healthy athletes "T" deficient. Seriously, a study should be done.

      On this issue, I find it interesting what Johny Hendricks had to say about his camp, which was, that he's learned to take time off and let his body recover and relax; less, being more.

      • Profile photo of Entity


        October 29, 2013 at 12:32 am

        I think it's so open publicly now (even next door neighbors) that they do it for every advantage assuming everyone else is doing it. Getting too much for the commission and having your Dr. say its correct is 2 different thing. That maybe be part of the issue. It's more confusing than a straight hermaphrodite……..did I say that outloud?….

    • Profile photo of Brian Cox

      Brian Cox

      October 29, 2013 at 3:43 am

      PS: Moots, I love your avatar; it's so non-practical.

  2. Profile photo of Zip


    October 28, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    Careful Brian, article after article, watch for blisters on your fingers. However, steroids are an option.

  3. Profile photo of Bruce Lee

    Bruce Lee

    October 28, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    There is some good epidemiology in this presentation here:

    Most of the data is on older men (40+) but there is some there on younger men.

    Page 9 of the Endocrine Society clinical practice guidelines touches on incidence and prevalence of low T here:

    • Profile photo of Entity


      October 29, 2013 at 12:34 am


    • Profile photo of Brian Cox

      Brian Cox

      October 29, 2013 at 12:55 am

      But Michael, what does it all mean to the layman who doesn't understand all of this stuff?

      Sadly, we've had to have this discourse before and I have affirmed myself as fine with TRT…I am a Vitor Belfort fan, after all, but within sanction.

      If I am not mistaken, you are of a similar mind.

      That and given your medical expertise on the issue, you would or could argue, that TRT is an equalizer, for aging fighters. On this subject, I will defer to your opinion and I hope I have not spoken out of turn, for you.

      However and I believe you'd agree, that the numbers of users, requests for usage and non-sanctioned infractions has spiked and when challenged for reasons of need, hypogonadism is always cited. Statistically speaking, my guess would be, that an actuary would prove all of it a high improbability, if not, an impossibility.

      To the point of Drysdale's lack of clearance from NSAC, the thread should pose some questions to you.

      Is his Doctor a quack; at least from what you can tell?

      As a layman, I see three different possibilities here: He either completely misdiagnosed a medical issue; two, he diagnosed it correctly, but subsequently over proscribed and failed to monitor the treatment; third, his "patient" went into the handy Las Vegas, home of MMA fighters looking to get an edge, "aging clinic", and told him that he had symptoms that sounded a whole lot like lot "T", at which point, his "new" Doctor agreed with him, and immediately prescribed weekly "T" shots.

      Second and as a Doctor, Michael, what do you figure the odds are that healthy athletes in the prime of their lives need T therapy?

      If it's legitimate then I'll accept it and Drysdale is 32 after all, and if a certified Doctor did recommend it and he's not purported to be shill, then I can live with it. Again, I have no clue as to the facts.

      Finally, and I'll call it a day, because I could ask a million questions on this issue, how did the guy end up at a level three times the allowable limit? That just blows my mind. How did his Doctor "F" up that much?

      However and on that particular question, the great point is how did Drysdale "F" up that much?

      As Dana White said a week or so ago, regarding Ben Rothwell's suspension for going over the line on "T"…."When you’re a professional athlete…You better know what’s going on with your own f****** body, and what’s going in it, and when it’s going in it and how much of it is going in it.”

      As a fan of Robert Drysdale and the brilliance of his Jiu Jitsu, it's beyond me how an athlete of his caliber has "F'd" up this large. I seriously can not express how much I was looking forward to his bout at UFC 167. And now, because of this, whatever anyone wants to call it, fans are deprived of seeing one of the greatest ground fighters in the world, perform in the greatest promotion in the world.

      I'm disappointed to say the least. I look forward to reading any insight that you might provide the community.



    • Profile photo of enjoylife321


      October 29, 2013 at 2:29 am

      @Michael S…good article btw…There are ten known causes identified in primary congenital and primary acquired cases of Hypogonadism. And there are 11 causes in the secondary acquired and secondary congenital cases.

      However, are the number of MMA fighters that report the condition consistent with the overall population data? Does cases of hypogonadism exceed 5.6% amongst MMA fighters. We don't know that because the data is not out for specific groups only overall age groups…

      Secondly,If there are over twenty main identified causes are the athletes reporting the true cause of hypogonadism or they just saying "hey I've got hypogonadism? I think bigfoot is one of the guys who reported a pituitary issue.

      Are fighters more prone to hypogonadism due to the intensity of training, weight cuts, injuries, hits to the head and groin…? Or are they less likely due to their peak physical conditioning?

      In the report in mentions about weight loss and the effects on the hypothalamic resulting in hypogonadism.

      Cool article

  4. Profile photo of 51JD51


    October 28, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    NOOOOOOOO!!!! I was so looking forward to this.

  5. Profile photo of enjoylife321


    October 29, 2013 at 2:35 am

    @Brian…I would make the conclusion that someone has been a naughty boy and is going to get a spanking from Dana. This spanking could include the trademark "rejection" Dana imposes upon athletes who mess with his cards or it could involve matching him against someone who Dana thinks will hand him a beating…Don't tell me Dana goes without getting some revenge.

    • Profile photo of Brian Cox

      Brian Cox

      October 29, 2013 at 2:46 pm

      Enjoy, I'm inclined to agree with you. He's messed up ahead of a major card. We should grateful that he wasn't on the main.

      In terms of punishment, I think Dana might do either or, in terms of what you suggest. I'd hate to see him cut from the UFC, but this is an F-up and again, how do you miss the mark by a factor of 3?

      Damn, I was really looking forward to Robert's fight, too. This *****.

  6. Profile photo of jmedno5891


    October 29, 2013 at 8:24 am

    It makes me sad to think what's going to happen to me, an average male when I hit my mid 30s if even all these "super" athletes are in need of trt at such young ages. Getting old is gonna **** bad….

  7. Profile photo of Zip


    October 29, 2013 at 11:07 am

    jmedno, fret not, I am well beyond my mid 30's and in the best shape of my life without ever touching TRT. No aches or pains and everything works just fine. Amazing what staying in shape will do for you. Keep in mind that growing old is a privilege denied to many.

  8. Profile photo of Brasil


    October 29, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    I believe all fighters cicle at some point in their lives…

  9. Profile photo of HunterB


    October 29, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    You ****! At least be smart about it like most of the other fighters.

  10. Profile photo of Dastardly_Dave


    October 31, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    He's a Jits guy, TRT is his Striking replacement therapy

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