You know, there have been a lot of positive tests for PEDs and stuff lately in MMA, and there has been even more rhetoric about the subject. There have even been a few symbolic gestures so that the public at large can really feel like something is being done. But the situation is getting more and more difficult to control, and the truth is that the UFC and their President, Dana White, can talk all they want about being serious about addressing the problem. They aren’t, it gets clearer and clearer everyday.
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We all know that STRIKEFORCE is under the UFC’s control, so for the context of this blog, it is the same company. And we are a month away from the end of their Heavyweight Grand Prix on May 19th in San Jose, California. The card has all kinds of questions that come up when you start thinking about the PED issue, and some of them leave you wondering, does the UFC really think they are fooling anyone?
Though it has not officially been announced, Nate Marquardt will be returning to the UFC fold after being unceremoniously cut for the testosterone treatment thing. Does anyone remember that he failed a PED test after his MMA debut as well? I like Nate as a fighter and as a person, but why is he back?
Then there is Josh Barnett, who was stripped of the UFC belt almost ten years ago for failing a PED test, and who has multiple drug test failures he has denied over the years. He apparently will be welcomed back in the UFC, especially if he wins this fight against Daniel Cormier. And then there is Cormier….
Why Cormier? Let me take you back to 2004-2005. People will not remember Johnathan Wiezorek, a tough fighter out of Georgia who retired with a solid MMA record of 11-2. His solicitation to fight in the UFC – denied, and one of the stated reason management gave him was his body type – he looked fat.
And then there is the case of champion Tim Sylvia, who got popped for PEDs and said he wanted to look better. Hmm, might he have heard some of the same things Wiezorek did? Barnett isn’t exactly a body builder type either, and he was much fatter when he was young.
Well Daniel Cormier, as great a fighter as he might be, is no Bobby Lashley when it comes to looking muscular. I doubt he will succumb to the pressure of ‘looking good’ but what if he did?
So what UFC management has to do is stop overmanaging, stop thinking in terms of marketing and muscles and take the best fighters. Or they can just do business as usual, pretend that they do not taciturnly encourage it, and keep lying to the public.