It’s a common practice for people of different generations and in various fields of sport, to use something to improve strength, endurance, and other characteristics. It’s one of the fastest ways of becoming better than others and soaring to new heights. No doubt the real athlete will break down any walls to achieve a win. MMA fighters are not the exception. One of the most powerful sports organization, specializing in holding MMA (MixedMartialArts) competitions is the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). This article concerns the practice of steroid use in UFC.
Why do UFC Fighters Use Anabolics?
All fighters desire to keep their weight under control and cut it off easily. They want to gain more muscles to get an advantage in their class. Meanwhile, they wouldn’t like to skip to the higher weight category, where combating a rival is a more complicated mission. That is why athletes use Masteron and Winstrol, which help to inhibit estrogens and reduce fluid retention. Besides these steroids maintain DHT levels which increase the athlete’s aggression. Estrogen blockers and diuretics are efficient tools that allow the fighter to stay within the required weight division, which is very important. However, dehydration is a side effect that can be caused by incorrect diuretics administration.
Erythropoietin is aimed at improving hardiness, which is one of the most important characteristics of the representative of this sport. This capability gives more chances to defeat the opponent. Human growth hormone is used for better recovering and treating injuries. Oral steroids are especially beneficial due to their quick removal from the body.
Athletes may also use prescription corticosteroids while they are convalescing after an injury.
UFC Fighters who Used Steroids
The former UFC top athlete Renzo Gracie avouches that almost every second MMA sportsman resorts to steroids and other drugs to enhance performance. Such remedies are necessary for getting a triumph.
Not only anabolics are used in UFC. Estrogen blockers, HGH, diuretics and erythropoietin enjoy huge popularity. Some use Winstrol abd Masteron, Nandrolone, numerous esters of testosterone, Trenbolone and even oral steroids, for example, Superdrol (methyldrostanolone).
Brock Lesnar. In 2016, “Broccoli’s” victory at the UFC 200 fight against Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt was overshadowed by news of him failing his doping test (Clomiphene was found in his body). Brock was suspended for one year and fined to $250,000. The triumphant battle with Hunt was declared invalid. In February 2017, Brock announced that he would leave the UFC.
Cris Cyborg. In December 2016, Cyborg was caught taking a weak diuretic (spironolactone, which is sold under such brand names as Aldactone, Spinolac, Verospiron, Uractone, Spirohexal, and Xenalon), but since she managed to prove that it was doctor prescribed to treat the consequences of weight cutting as a part of preparation to fight against Lina Lansberg, a couple of months later the USADA withdrew all charges from her. At the moment, there is no direct corroboration she has a connection with illegal steroids.
Josh Barnett (“The Warmaster”). In 2002, Barnett trounced Randy Couture (Randall Duane Couture), which made him the heavyweight champion, but he didn’t stay with the title for long since remnant traces of three steroids (Boldenone, Nandrolone and fluoxymesterone) were detected in his tests. Barnett forfeited the title and was disqualified by NSAC for 6 months. After the happening Barnett moved to Japan. After 11 years, he returned to the UFC.
Tim Sylvia (“The Maine-iac”). In the fall of 2003, Timothy Deane Sylvia failed steroid checking after defeating Ghana McGee. NSAC disqualified and fined the offender. Then he voluntarily refused his belt in the heavyweight category. In 2004, Tim didn’t return it, losing to Frank Mir, but in two years he knocked out Andrei Orlovsky and redeemed himself.
Chael Sonnen (“the People’s Champ”). Before the match with Vitor Belfort at UFC 175 in 2014, Sonnen dumped two doping tests, which revealed four banned drugs. They revoked the battle, the wrongdoer was prohibited to take part in competitions for 2 years. Before that, expecting such a verdict, he declared his retirement. In 2 years he came back, broke the agreement with the UFC and signed a contract, where Chael had already had 2 fights.
Alistair Overeem. A few weeks before the fight with Junior dos Santos, NSAC forbade Overeem to participate in UFC 146 show in 2012, detecting an excessive ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone (isotestosterone), namely 12:1, in his blood, while an allowable rate was 6:1. The Dutchman was punished in the form of disqualification for 9 months. After returning he experienced a series of setbacks, but was lucky to knock out Dos Santos and receive his title.
Ali Bagautinov (“Puncher”). At UFC 174, Ali Shamilevich didn’t secure a victory flyweight, yielding the flyweight belt to Demetrious Khrisna Johnson. Then his positive pre-match doping test, which revealed erythropoietin in his body, became the reason for his disqualification (for 1 year). After returning, he lost 3 times and was dismissed from the UFC, which forced him to sign a deal with Fight Nights Global.
Anderson Silva. In January 2015, testing of the legendary “Spider” before the combat with Nick Diaz showed a positive result. Specialists have acknowledged that the athlete has taken Drostanolone and androstane. Silva was deprived the victory, disenabled for one year and fined for a considerable sum, $380,000. In 2016 he got two discomfitures in battles.
The list of other tricksters includes Fabricio Werdum, Bharat Kandare, Khalid Murtazaliev, Jon Jones, Melvin Paul Guillard, Jessica Penne, David Bielkheden, Rafael Cavalcante, Chael Patrick Sonnen, Thiago Tavares, Lyoto Machida, Nate Marquardt, Kirill Yurievich Sidelnikov, Kimbo Slice, Kimo Leopoldo, Ashlee Evans-Smith (she has used a diuretic), and Islam Ramazanovich Makhachev (he has used Mildronate, which is not an anabolic).
The Bottom Line on UFC and Steroids
In 2016 lightweight fighter from America Nate Diaz accused famous Irishman Conor McGregor of taking dope. He made the bombshell statement at a press conference before the fight between the two athletes. He also mentioned dos Anjos, Anthony Pettis, saying they were not clear either. After the event, President Dana White stated that UFC provided high-quality doping checks of the fighters.
Every year there is at least one exposure of steroid-using in the UFC. In 2007, they caught 14 athletes on dope. The irony is that all fighters who were tested positively for anabolics lost in championships. It proves that steroids are hardly effectual in MMA, the success in this sphere depends on other things. Perhaps, the rivals of the offenders were smarter and luckier. They cheated the doping control and won. Read more on steroids in MMA here.