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.