2015 started off with a bang, but not in the most positive way for the Ultimate Fighting Championship and mixed martial arts alike. Since the beginning of the year, the UFC has endured failed drug tests by their most talented and popular stars.
Following his victory at UFC 182, it was disclosed that Jon Jones failed his out-of-competition drug test when a cocaine metabolite was found in his system.
At UFC 183, after Nick Diaz’s high-profile loss to Anderson Silva, his drug test revealed that marijuana metabolites were found from a sample of his drug test. However, given Diaz’s advocacy for medical marijuana, and his previously failed drug tests due to the consumption of the drug, his third failed drug test did not come as much of a surprise to most.
At the same time, failed drug tests in 2015 extended beyond recreational use of cocaine and marijuana. Silva and Hector Lombard tested positive for drostanolone, androsterone and desoxymethyltestosterone, respectively.
Silva, whom many considered to be the greatest MMA practitioner of all time before his latest drug scandal, returned from a 14-month layoff after breaking his leg in a championship bout against Chris Weidman at UFC 168. Having never been implicated in a steroid scandal, the MMA world was left shocked and outraged by the disclosure of Silva’s positive drug test for performance enhancing drugs following his UFC 183 win over Diaz. As a result, an investigation is still underway and the UFC has removed The Spider as a coach from The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 4.
Regarding Lombard, upon the disclosure of his failed drug test, the co-main event between him and the highly talented Rory McDonald, which carried welterweight title shot implications, was effectively removed from the UFC 186 card.
In response, per MMA Fighting, UFC color commentator Joe Rogan sternly responded to the recent failed drug tests, specifically those regarding steroids.
“The UFC and MMA in general is a steroid epidemic. They’ve started this really stringent testing and everybody is getting popped. They’re just getting popped left and right. It’s one of the things fighters have been saying for a long time, that everyone is on steroids, a huge percentage. Give a number 50, 60 [percent].”
On February 4, MMA Junkie reported that, since out-of-competition drug tests have become random, 31 percent of the tested UFC fighters failed their respective drug assessments.
The statistics and recent failed drug tests speak volumes and appear to be indicative of the amount of UFC fighters who attempt to gain an advantage in the fastest growing sport in the world.
[Featured Image Courtesy of USA TODAY Sports.]