It is a common practice for people of different generations and in different fields of sport, to use something for improving strength, endurance & other characteristics. It is one of the way of becoming better than others. No doubt the real athlete is willing to break any walls to achieve the winning. MMA fighters are not the exception. One of the most powerful sport organization, specializing in holding MMA (MixedMartialArts) competitions is Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). In this article, we will talk about the use of steroids in UFC.
Why do UFC fighters use anabolics?
It’s no secret that the fighters want to control their weight easily. They want to gain more muscles in order to have a weight advantage in their class. At the same time, they do not want skip to the next weight category. It becomes clear why fighters use Masteron and Winstrol, which help to inhibit estrogens and reduce the fluid retention. Besides these steroids maintain DHT level and increase the athlete’s aggression. Moreover, estrogen blockers and diuretics are very efficient at helping fighter stay in his weight category, which is very important. However, there is side effect in the form of strong body dehydrate, which can be caused by incorrect diuretics administration.
Erythropoietin is aimed at improving endurance, which is one of the most important characteristics of the fighter. The more endurance you have the more chances to defeat the opponent. Human growth hormone is used for better recovering and treating injuries. Oral steroids are especially beneficial, since they are removed from the body quickly.
UFC fighters who used steroids
According to the former UFC top athlete Renzo Gracie: “almost every MMA sportsman uses steroids, in order to be in the best form and to win. The use of the drugs is simply necessary.”
However, not only anabolics are used in UFC. Fighters take estrogen blockers, diuretics, erythropoietin and HGH too. Moreover, some of the athletes use Winstrol & Masteron, nandrolone, different esters of testosterone, trenbolone and even oral steroids, for example, Superdrol (methyldrostanolone).
- Brock Lesnar. In 2016, Lesnar’s victory over Mark Hunt at the UFC 200 after a long pause was overshadowed by news of his two failed before the fight doping tests (clomiphene was found in his body). Brock received a one-year suspension and a fine of $250,000, the battle with Hunt was declared invalid. In February 2017, it became known that Brock left the UFC.
- Cris Cyborg. In December 2016, Cyborg was caught in taking diuretic (spironolactone), but since she managed to prove that she used it as prescribed by the doctor 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 evidence that she used illegal steroids.
- Josh Barnett. In the spring of 2002, Barnett won against Randy Couture and became the new heavyweight champion, but he did not stay with the title for very long, as it turned out that the winner’s analyzes contained traces of three steroids (boldenone, nandrolone and fluoxymesterone). Barnett lost the title and was disqualified by NSAC for 6 months. After that, Barnett moved to Japan for a long time and returned to the UFC only 11 years later.
- Tim Sylvia. In the fall of 2003, Sylvia failed on steroid test after defeating Ghana McGee at UFC 44, for which he was disqualified by NSAC for six months and fined $10,000. Then he voluntarily refused the heavyweight belt. In the summer of next year, Tim failed to return the belt, losing to Frank Mir, but two years later he achieved his victory by knocking out Andrei Orlovsky.
- Chael Sonnen. Before the fight with Vitor Belfort at UFC 175 in 2014, Sonnen dumped two doping tests, getting four banned drugs. The battle was canceled, the offender was disqualified for 2 years, but before that, he announced his retirement to return two years later, to break the contract with the UFC and sign an agreement with Bellator, where Chael had already had 2 fights.
- Alistair Overeem. A few weeks before the fight with heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos, NSAC banned Overeem from the participation in UFC 146 show in 2012, finding he had an excessive ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone – 12:1, while an allowable rate was 6:1. The Dutchman received 9 months of disqualification, after which he lost 3 of 4 fights, but then fought against not champion Dos Santos and knocked him out, and last year got his title.
- Ali Bagautinov. At UFC 174, Ali failed to win the title flyweight, losing to Demetrius Johnson. Soon it became known about his positive pre-match doping test (erythropoietin was discovered in his body), for which he received one year of disqualification. Returning, Ali had 3 losses in 4 fights and dismissal from the UFC, followed by the signing of a contract with Fight Nights Global.
- Anderson Silva. In January 2015, testing of the legendary “Spider” two weeks before the fight with Nick Diaz at UFC 183 turned out to be positive. Experts have acknowledged that the athlete has taken drostanolone and androstane. Silva was deprived the victory, disqualified for a year and fined $ 380,000. After serving his sentence, the Brazilian lost two battles in 2016.
The bottom line on UFC and steroids
By the way, in 2016 American lightweight fighter Nate Diaz accused Irishman Conor McGregor of using dope at a press conference dedicated to the fight between these two athletes. “They all on steroids. All the UFC fighters. All. And you (Conor McGregor), and dos Anjos, and Anthony Pettis, and everyone else. You’re on steroids,” Diaz said. Immediately after the UFC press conference President Dana White issued a statement, where he noted the high level of testing of fighters for doping in the UFC.
Indeed, every year there is at least one exposure of steroid using in the UFC. 2007 was the “top” year, when the use of doping in 14 athletes were revealed. The irony is that sportsmen who were tested positively for anabolics lost their fights. It means that steroids will not do little for you in MMA, they are not the most significant thing during a fight. Although, perhaps, the opponents of the banned fighters were more smart & lucky, that they have not been caught and won fights. Read more on steroids in MMA here.