REVEALED: Alex Volkanovski’s trainer explains loophole that allowed Islam Makhachev to use BANNED IV drip ahead of UFC title fight, but stops short of calling Russian a cheater
UFC identity coach Alex Volkanovski has broken his silence to reveal why he believes Islam Makhachev was allowed to use a banned IV drip ahead of his title fight against the Aussie last Sunday.
Eugene Bareman stopped short of calling Russian Makhachev a cheat, but felt the 31-year-old enjoyed a distinct advantage over “The Great” in Perth.
Makhachev won a thrilling fight at UFC 284 to retain his lightweight belt and improve his career record to 24-1.
But post-fight accusations that Makhachev illegally used an IV drip to rehydrate after missing weight led to his epic victory.
After another Bareman fighter – UFC lightweight Dan Hooker – made his feelings about the result and Makhachev well known in Twitter, the New Zealand-based mentor spoke to the grim drama himself.
He revealed that Makhachev may have used a loophole in the rules that would have actually allowed him to legally use an IV before the fight.
Islam Makhachev’s victory over Alex Volkanovski at UFC 284 has been tainted by allegations he used a banned IV drip before the title fight
Eugene Bareman – who trains Volkanovski (pictured) – did not call Makhachev a cheat, but felt the 31-year-old had a distinct advantage at UFC 284
“We have reliable information to a point,” Bareman told The MMA Hour.
“Information is scarce because of a number of reasons, and one of them is that you can have an IV before a race. It just needs to be 100ml of saline every 12 hours, in a 12 hour block.
“So what we have to come up with is do you think people are going to take this saline, 100ml, and then stop [all together].
“And the fact that from this [Russian] the team was two fighters…. the information cannot yet reliably tell us which fighter was illegally hydrated or if he exceeded 100ml.
“But I don’t know, no information can tell us without a doubt that someone in their group used an IV mark to hydrate themselves, which is not illegal if you used 100ml.
“You just have to ask yourself if it’s only 100ml you have to use for 12 hours, why bother?”
Bareman has his doubts – but added that it would be difficult to prove if there was improper use of an IV by Makhachev or his training partner Zubaira Tukhugov.
“Whether it was Zubayra or it was Islam, something is going on there,” he said.
Dan Hooker accused the Russian fighter of hiring a nurse to give him an IV drip to keep him hydrated
Makhachev won a thrilling showdown with Volkanovski at UFC 284 to retain his lightweight belt and improve his career record to 24-1
“It’s disappointing because the whole sport should be played on a level playing field.
“Then again, you can’t credibly say that Islam cheated.”
The use of IV drips for hydration used to be common in combat sports, but was banned in the UFC in October 2015 following a USADA ruling, news.com.au reported.
USADA officials introduced the ban because IV drips can contribute to high amounts of weight loss — and can also be used to hide performance-enhancing drugs.
UFC fighters face bans of up to two years for using IV drips without a medical reason.