How the UFC can Eliminate Steroids before they Destroy MMA

Quick, name a mainstream sport that hasn’t been tainted by a steroid scandal in the last several years.

If you responded with baseball, football, soccer, cycling, tennis or any Olympic sport since they invented synthetic testosterone you are incorrect. Even billiards, yes billiards, had a top dog in Axel Buescher test positive for EPO earlier this year.

Now when you compare those mainstream sports to MMA which one would benefit the most from increased strength, speed, endurance, explosiveness, recovery time and ability to hold muscle mass while cutting weight? MMA hands down.

How about which mainstream sport is it most likely that the use of performance enhancing drugs could create the increased possibility for one competitor to kill the other one? Think MMA takes that one too.

In addition, the top performers in MMA are paid disproportionately higher than the average contender in that sport putting the risk of taking performance enhancing substances in MMA more worth the reward than in any other mainstream sport.

Tim Sylvia, Josh Barnett, Kimo Leopoldo, Sean Sherk, Hermes Franca, Stephan Bonnar, Vitor Belfort, Pawel Nastula, Phil Baroni, Royce Gracie, Johnnie Morton, Carina Damm… ladies and gentlemen, we have a steroid problem.

Ok, so we can all agree that the temptation has been proven to exist, the rewards are rich and the punishment for breaking the rules… well, unbelievably weak.

There have been plenty of articles written about steroids in MMA and the UFC in particular. This is not another attempt to document the problem, what we need are recommendations that are enforced so that the problem is fixed before it takes the sport down. Simple.

UFC, here is your blueprint to eliminating steroids in MMA:

1. Punishment – Make the punishment for violating the rules clear and consistent. I don’t care if the fighter says sorry or if they admit it or not, make the punishment something that is more than six months off and a whopping $2,500 fine. If that is the punishment we might as well give fighters the option to check that box at weigh in “Put an X here if you have been using performance enhancing drugs and intend to have six months off before your next fight anyways and are willing to donate 10% of your purse as a result”. Or perhaps they can admit that they got ripped off from their dealer and overpaid by $2,500 so the fine should be waived. Here is an idea – lifetime ban and return of all proceeds from that fight. Use steroids and you are gone. Period.

2. Education - Take some of those lucrative pay-per-view dollars and educate the fighters. I’m not saying it in the same light as bringing a condom into a grade eight sex education class (we know you are doing it so here is your protection), educate them on the risks. Clearly many of the fighters that tested positive have zero knowledge of the steroid landscape. They are told months in advance that they will be tested – hint, it will be the night or the day of your fight – and yet they still fail. Let them know the risks and the ways in which steroids can show up in your body months and months later and perhaps we’ll have some of them realize they will simply get caught so why bother trying.

3. Cooperation - The UFC has the big stick and they should use it. The current “system” allows those that violate the rules to just pick up their gloves and head off to another organization and get paid more (ahem Japan) – sounds like quite the deterrent doesn’t it? If we can’t have one organization in mainstream MMA then we should at least have one oversight committee on enforcement of a steroid policy. Consistency across organizations is critical.

4. Create an Alternative – If all else fails create the “All Juiced Jamboree” and let everyone cheat. I’ve always thought it would be interesting to watch someone run the 100 in under 9 seconds completely juiced; maybe there would be a good following for an all steroid MMA organization. Teach Canseco how to choke and bring on the pay per view millions.

The UFC needs to take real action other than consistently saying they are against it.

If they don’t, two things will eventually happen:

  • Someone will get seriously hurt in a fight against a juiced up opponent. Result? A big lawsuit.
  • The repetitive positive tests will bring the credibility of the sport to unrecoverable lows. Baseball and football can withstand a steroid scandal; MMA isn’t in that category yet.

There is a problem – let’s put a game plan in place before it risks the entire sport.

12 COMMENTS
  • bad dog says:

    This is Sparta, and I only speak the truth.

    For those that are supporting steroid use for one reason or another, I cannot help but wonder if you actually work or get money from the UFC. I noticed my postings on Sherdog’s loser site were pulled, and did not violate any of their rules. I simply spoke the truth on steroid abuse. Dana White wants steroids and is deathly afraid of regulation. He has said it in more ways than one. All the public posts, which I support like this one, tell the truth. Most all of the posts are against cheaters and steroids. I have yet to find a post that says that guys like Sonnen should not get punished if it is proven that he took steroids. So watch these people that flat out support steroids, ridiculous.

    Congress focused on baseball, and all other sports, including Olympic testing, is on the way for a change. Blogging is good, but WRITE YOUR CONGRESSMAN AGAINST STEROID ABUSE. In time “pro” sports will get cleaned up.

    Wouldn’t all of you athletes who play by the rules like a chance to make money and play for pro sports. If the steroid cheaters are removed from sports, sports takes on a whole new light. I would like to be payed big money, but I am not willing to get cancer, wreck my organs and shrink my only reason for being on this planet. People who take steroids are weak and easily influenced by what others say.

    It is simple, whether they all or just some take steroids in any sport, steroids are unfair. They give you a muscle advantage, and we know it changes the game, period. Those that take steroids are losers.

    Dana White you and Sherdog are still Douchebags, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • the end is near says:

    Bobby Lashley sucks, period.
    Taken out on a stetcher, what a DOUCHE.

    I am glad Griggs handed him his ass. Get these cheaters and former fake wrestlers out of my site. They deserve to earn what the cheaters of world’s strongest man, all steroid users, used to earn, nothing. These guys have been taking steroids, hgh, and anything else they can get their hands on to cheat. If Bobby Lashley was that big from naturally working out he would not get gassed out by round 1. Steroids stop glucocorticoids from allowing the immune system to strengthen muscle properly. I have met the guy. Huge biceps with tiny wrists with guitar string tendons. Any doctor can see he cheated to get where he is at. Steroids deposit fat, because we all need it like it or not, in the arteries and veins rather than deposits on stomach, etc. Bobby looks like he has no fat, steroid bullshit. We need to start testing by blood olympic style and not just piss tests. They should even do a fat cell check for steroids that would show who has been cheating for many years in the past. It does not matter the cost. The cost is me wasting time watching this pumped up loser fight who never should have been in Strikeforce to begin with. Get rid of the cheaters, you too UFC Shane Carwin federal scandal, or people are going elsewhere. Notice Carwin got gassed in round 1 as well, steroids. This goes for football, baseball, bicycling, etc. We are tired of the cheaters, and your pocketbooks are going to get a little smaller, mark my words. If Congress is listening, drop the hammer on these guys already, at least Olympic standard blood random tests. There are plenty of legit athletes ready to take their place. Maybe we can finally see who the real genetic God of War is, but not with lab created bullshit.

    Tired of the Bullshit

  • jomama says:

    Bottom line is steroids kill young people same as other ellicit drugs, they are illegal and everyone has an equal responsibilty to demontrate honor, integrity, and honesty to our children.

  • tapout2flyingknee says:

    the punishment isn’t up to the the organization you ass. the athletic commissions make those decisions. so no its not up to the ufc to set standards cuz its not up to the org

  • Don Juan says:

    Hey Xtian.

    Try steroids and come back and tell me how they work.

    They are amazing. The people who say it ‘didn’t help them much’ are the people who got CAUGHT you jackass.

    Of course they will say that.

  • DJ says:

    excellent points, especially on the risk reward piece. glad someone wrote about this.

  • Xtian says:

    Huge wealth of ignorance provided here. Have you ever noticed that those who have actually used steroids tend to downplay their significance? It’s because steroids really aren’t “all that”. They help to an extent but it is FAR easier to get injured while on steroids. Also, the strength increace is not superhuman as some believe.
    It is really hard to explain to someone who has not been through several steroid cycles. If you are not already working out diligently and following a strict diet, steroids will not do anything for you. They only add to the work that you are already doing. People just have a natural fear of things that they don’t understand so steroids will always be villified.

  • robby terror says:

    just wanted to say good article, but if you compete in a other country while banned by any state in the u.s. to my knowledge you get banned for life. hermes franca mentioned this in a article as he was offered a fight outside the u.s. while under suspension. steriods do make a difference in some areas, but if you look at fedor who’s genetics for ripped mesomorph body are shit, he still destroys people in pride “no testing” or in the states where he gets tested so it shows that heart and skill matter more. on a end note the ufc and others holding events are really to blam in regards to how they market the “look” of a fighter. tim s mentioned this also on how they treated him like shit cause he was fat. mma is not mma yet its a legit sport with wwe style competition on events. so instead of athletes competing for the goal of best fighter, its the best fighter in each competing organization holding a belt to win ratings. this causes athletes to be pushed to not only win but also look the best to be used the most.

  • Kaipo says:

    While there have been two deaths in the history of MMA, there are over 2 deaths a year in boxing, and way more than that in football.

    That argument is moot.

    I agree with the article and feel the UFC should be harder on drug offenders. Their current stance leaves alot to be desired.

  • Jack Sprat says:

    Leo. Nice try, but you fail hard.

    Lindland weighed in at 213 lbs and Fedor was like 224. 11 lbs difference.

    There has been 2 deaths in MMA that we know of.

    Both were somewhat brushed under the table and did not happen in the UFC.

    Nice read.

  • Fact Guy says:

    “no one has died”.

    Yes they have.

    Two people.

    article is in the features section on this website.

    You mucktard.

  • leo Laporte says:

    >Someone will get seriously hurt in a >fight against a juiced up opponent. >Result? A big lawsuit.

    Unless youre a total UFC nuthugger, youd know that there have been tons of fights with difference in weight classes and no one has died.
    How much did the greatest fighter on the planet outweigh Matt Lindland in their fight? 50 pounds?
    Is there a more feared guy on the planet?

    Full of shit.

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