ROCKVILLE, Md., April 23, 2012 —UFC 145 was a great evening for a number of different reasons. Having two stars, who stood at the top of the light-heavyweight division, legitimately dislike each other did wonders for drawing the attention of fans. So much attention, in fact, that UFC brass was able to sweep losing title contender Alistair Overeem to a failed drug test under the rug. Alistair Overeem was originally scheduled to challenge heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos at UFC 146 less than five weeks away, on May 26 in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
It should be noted that, Overeem was not caught using Performance Enhancing Drugs (or PEDs) of any kind per se. What disqualified Overeem from fighting this May was his elevated testosterone levels which is normally indicative of PED use. Overeem’s test results showed that at the time of being tested, the contender had a testosterone ratio of 14:1:0. The normal limit is 1:1:0. Instead of waiting for Overeem’s explanation, the UFC went ahead with removing him from the card, replacing him with former UFC champion Frank Mir.
This is far from the first time that a major UFC star has been punished for suspected or proven drug use. In fact, there have been several recent cases of UFC fighters getting punished for illegal drug use. Just last year, welterweight standout, Nate Marquart was removed from the UFC the very week of his main event fight against Rick Story thanks to an elevated testosterone level. Nick Diaz, once considered the number one contender for the welterweight crown, also recently failed a drug test after his fight with Carlos Condit. Chris Leben, perennial middleweight contender is currently serving a one-year suspension for failing his last drug test.
Some may argue that PEDs are just a way of life in professional sports. “Everyone is doing it. So why punish them for it?” is what many fight fans believe. If it is true, that every professional athlete is using drugs, then why aren’t we hearing about NFL and NBA superstars failing drug tests? What would the fallout be if Kobe Bryant or Tony Romo were caught doing anything that indicated the use of illegal drugs?
Fortunately for the UFC, mixed martial arts is far from being as mainstream as basketball and football. However, mixed martial arts is quickly rising in popularity. Before it gets to the upper echelon of mainstream sports, the UFC needs to figure a way to guide its fighters away from practices that could make the sport look bad.
Jason has over 10 years of mixed martial arts experience. Currently, he runs his own MMA gym where he also trains (www.evolveacademy.com) .
Jason works as a personal trainer and conditioning coach for professional fighters (www.soldierfit.com). You can follow him on Twitter or Facebook at Jmommablackhat.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.