Makhachev’s Team denies using IV to get ahead, USADA releases statement

According to Islam Makhachev’s camp, the lightweight champion did not use IVs to rehydrate.

Makhachev was making the first defense of his lightweight championship in the card’s main event at UFC 284. Alexander Volkanovski said before the event that Makhachev was struggling to make the weight. However, Makhachev did make the weight and ultimately won the match by a close decision.

However, Dan Hooker accused the Dagestani native of enlisting a nurse to give him an IVs, which is something that’s been banned by USADA since 2019.

He attacked Makhachev on social media the day after he defeated Volkanovski.


This tweet storm by Hooker attracted widespread attention in the MMA community. Makhachev’s US manager was the first to rebuff charges going so far as to call them racist.


Islam Makhachev’s co-manager Rizvan Magomedov responded refuting the allegations.

According to MMA journalist Damon Martin, USADA released a statement on the matter saying:

“USADA takes all reports of possible violations seriously and we actively follow up on all information we receive.  Under the UFC Prohibited List, all IV infusions and/or injections of more than 100 mL per 12-hour period are prohibited at all times, except for those legitimately received in the course of hospital admissions, surgical procedures or clinical diagnostic investigations, and/or those received in-competition or out-of-competition 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). If a prohibited substance of any amount is administered intravenously by infusion or injection, a TUE is required for this prohibited substance regardless of the volume of the infusion or injection or the circumstances of administration.”

The statement hasn’t been posted to their website as of yet and Martin has close ties to Makhachev camp.

Through our own investigation, we were able to verify that the suspicious bump on Makhachev predates the weigh ins. Through the photography licensing website we were able to confirm that all pictures with the puncture mark originated some time on February 19th.

It does seem probable that a rematch between Makhachev and Volkanovski will take place given that the bout between them was close, exciting, and is now the subject of some debate.

With a 12-fight winning run, Islam Makhachev (24-1) is coming off a victory against Volkanovski. Prior to that, he defeated Charles Oliveira through submission in the second round back in October to earn the lightweight title. He also has important victories against fighters like Dan Hooker, Thiago Moises, Arman Tsarukyan, Bobby Green, and others during his time in the UFC.