Eugene Bareman isn’t going all in on the recent accusations levied against Islam Makhachev, but he’s not completely satisfied with the situation either.
Following Makhachev’s win over Alexander Volkanovski this past weekend at UFC 284, Volkanovski’s City Kickboxing teammate Dan Hooker accused the lightweight champion of illegally using an IV to rehydrate ahead of his champion vs. champion matchup with Volkanovski. IVs were once a regularly used to aid in recovery from weight cuts, but became highly restricted following a rule change in 2016.
Currently, IV infusions and/or injections that exceed 100 ml during a 12-hour period are prohibited, according to USADA guidelines.
City Kickboxing coach Eugene Bareman appeared on The MMA Hour Wednesday to discuss the fight and share his thoughts on the controversy.
” We have reliable information up to a point,” Bareman stated when asked about Hooker’s accusations. “I will half plead the fifth. Are you able to plead for the fifth in half? The two and a half? This information is not complete for several reasons. One reason being that an IV can be used before fighting. It just has to be 100 ml of saline every 12 hours, in a 12-hour block. So what it has to come down to is whether you believe that people are going to take this saline, 100 ml, and then stop.
“And the fact that from that team there were two fighters from that same team and the information can’t reliably tell us yet which fighter illegally hydrated or whether they went over 100 ml. But I don’t know, no information can tell us without a doubt that someone in their team used an IV badge to rehydrate, which is not illegal if you used 100 ml. You’ve just got to ask yourself if it’s only 100 ml you’ve got to use for 12 hours, why would you even bother?”
On Monday, Makhachev’s co-manager Rizvan Magomedov seemingly tweeted out a response to the allegations, writing, “Jealous losers speeding lies, eventually this is all you can do.”
Jealous losers speeding lies, eventually this is all you can do
— Rizvan Magomedov (@Rizvan_RM) February 14, 2023
Magomedov later told MMA Junkie, “We all know this is completely B.S. [Hooker] is a loser. He is a loser and only wants attention .”
Bareman would not dismiss Hooker’s claims, but said that Hooker should be consulted.
” I advised Dan not to even talk about it,” Bareman stated. “Look, as you can see, that information has holes in it, that’s what I’m alluding to, but also there’s enough information there for to be like, ‘Eeeh…’ This is why Alex and the rest of the team are laughing because we’re like, something’s going on there, we just can’t reliably say what it is.
” It’s disappointing because all sports should be played equally. However, it’s impossible to say with certainty that Islam has cheated. I would not go as far as Dan and claim that. That’s just–I don’t think you can reliable say that. However, something was happening .”
Bareman went on to clarify that he believes it’s possible that either Makhachev or teammate Zubaira Tukhugov could have been making improper use of IVs. Tukhugov missed weight by 1. 5 pound for a lightweight contest with Elves Brener, then went on to lose a close split decision.
“Either it was Zubaira or whether it was Islam, something’s gone on there,” Bareman said. It was Zubaira, not Islam. Islam must be disassociated. Any member of my team would be disqualified if they were doing anything illegal. It’s possible that something will be revealed, or maybe not. But it is important to keep your focus on the fight, and not get distracted by the details. The fight was great.
“Congratulations to Islam and Javier and his other coaches who I’m not so familiar with, but congratulations to those guys, they won. And congratulations to Alex. I’m super proud of Alex and what he was able to do and we’ll move on. Give us the next big challenge because that’s what these guys do.”