The Ultimate Fighting Championship has once more been rocked by scandal. A few more of its professional fighters have been in the spotlight for being accused of using banned substances, such as Jon Jones, Brock Lesnar and Chad Mendes.
These accusations in the UFC do not come as a shock; nor do revelations of other UFC abusers. In fact, the cynical reaction has been to believe all fighters probably use Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED) at least some time, knowingly or innocently. And Nate Diaz is famously known for saying that all fighters use steroids.
Help from the USADA
A non-governmental agency called the USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) runs a website, regulates the UFC from within, and seeks to educate competitors about the dangers and consequences of using banned substances when they train or compete.
Random tests seek to discover a fighter developing greater strength by taking supplements such as drink mix powders and tablets which contain a variety of PED or promote muscle growth in unnatural ways. They also test for products potentially used to mask such results.
The USADA website helpfully outlines the various compounds which can be injected or ingested to these ends, some of them not obvious. One expects to see certain illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and opiates, but not protein powders and amino acids.
The list is alarming in that it contains some items found in food supplements sold over-the-counter at gyms, drug stores, health food stores, and online which the average person wouldn’t recognize as illicit or illegal.
Only a fighter well-versed in the rules, regulations, and ongoing controversy around such things could possibly know, and even then the list is an ever-changing miasma of potential poisons.
The USADA website also highlights the reasons why a performance-enhancing drug would be controlled, be inspected by the FDA, or should cause concern. They include potential harm to the person consuming them, not just unnatural advantages in the ring.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship was created in the USA in 1993. It started out with fighters in separate disciplines claiming theirs was the better one, but eventually all martial arts were combined into what we know as MMA: karate, judo, tae kwon do, etc. Mixed Martial Arts is not hampered by a lot of rules.
The few there are allow competitors to incorporate standing moves with floor action from all of the martial arts disciplines. Fighters are divided by their weight into various numerous categories the way boxers are to make the fight as fair and even as possible.
Such fairness makes for cleaner fighting and also for more entertaining contests. An uneven match is boring. The UFC website provides further enlightenment as to the origins, rules, and schedule of this popular sport.
Obviously, this is not a boring activity to watch and can be bloody. One doesn’t participate actively for many years; it is too damaging on the body, so participants can turn their skills to acting, doing stunts, coaching younger participants, or roles within the UFC.
A match is held most weeks of the year between competitors from around the world. The UFC airs matches on television to a strong reception from the public familiar with celebrities like Jason Statham who use their skills in the movie industry to create diverse and exciting fight scenes.
Results of News
Will the Ultimate Fighting Championship organization come undone as a result of high-profile doping cases? It is unlikely. The Olympics is also hit by these problems regularly; almost every sport is, and there have been recent headlines that the UFC is notorious for frequent testing for banned substances. Athletes give in to their desire to be the best and do things which harm their sport, their bodies, and their countries’ reputations.
Internal regulatory agencies such as the USADA try their best to limit the damage these issues cause, but doping issues do not seem to have dampened the public’s interest in UFC. In fact, they give new fighters a chance to compete in place of suspended pros.
If you are facing an upcoming test, here’s my insight into drug test solutions.