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Team Makhachev: ‘Salty’ Hooker’s IV claim is ‘completely BS’

Dan Hooker celebrates his victory over Claudio Puelles with UFC commentator Joe Rogan.
Dan Hooker celebrates his victory over Claudio Puelles with UFC commentator Joe Rogan. | Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

The City Kickboxing lightweight was looking to stir the pot after Alexander Volkanovski’s loss to Islam Makhachev at UFC 284.

Few sports love their drama to the same extent as MMA. Apparently it wasn’t enough that Alex Volkanovski felt hard done by from the judges at UFC 284 in Perth, or that he turned in a performance that had fans cheering him on at the final bell—and which kept his spot secure atop the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings. To add just that extra hint of spice to the mix, City Kickboxing teammate Dan Hooker felt he needed to throw a little suggestion of cheating into the mix.

“Dumb cunt thinks he can fly to Australia hire a nurse to give him an I.V and we won’t find out. Cheating dog,” Hooker wrote in an unnecessarily cryptic post on social media, adding that “He doesn’t cheat, he doesn’t win,” in a followup Tweet. Later, when asked directly to explain his allegations, the ‘Hangman’ clarified his message—posting simply that, “Islam is a cheat.”

The lightweight champion didn’t respond himself, but the Dagestani fighter’s manager Rizvan Magomedov got in on the act—denying any suggestion of wrongdoing entirely.

“We all know this is completely BS,” Magomedov said in a brief statement delivered to MMA Junkie. “The guy is a loser. He’s salty and just looking for attention, and that’s it.”

Once an entirely common post-weigh-ins practice, therapeutic IV use was effectively banned by the UFC with the introduction of their USADA partnership. Often in the past, fighters would use IVs containing a simple saline solution to speed up the body’s re-hydration process after especially brutal weight cuts.

Interestingly, there seems to be some confusion about the promotion’s functional stance on IV use—with welterweight fighter Phil Rowe claiming that the treatment is still readily available for athletes within the UFC, as long as they can get medical clearance first.

For USADA’s part, the drug testing organization states that, “All intravenous (IV) infusions and/or injections of more than a total of 100 mL (~6.8 tablespoons) per 12-hour period are prohibited at all times (in and out-of-competition) except for those legitimately received in the course of hospital treatments, surgical procedures, clinical diagnostic investigations, and/or those that are determined to be medically justified and within the standard of care by a licensed physician and administered by a licensed medical professional, without an approved Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).

It’s that last clause (highlighted for clarity) that seems to leave a lot of wiggle room for interpretation, since the first two parts of USADA’s statement are strong in their stance against causal IV use during fight week.

By all appearances, Makhachev could very well have hired a licensed medical professional who then approved his use of an IV for re-hydration, and potentially not have broken any rules as far as the UFC or USADA is concerned. All that is moot, of course, since we’ve already heard from Makhachev’s team, and they say he did no such thing. Surely that will be the final word on the subject, and everyone can move on with the minimum of accusations and drama from here.


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