PEDs are a part of MMA—even though they are against the rules—because there are fighters who will always do whatever it takes to win.
But what if PEDs weren't against the rules? What if mixed martial artists were allowed to use steroids to help them? Would it destroy the sport of MMA or would it help improve it?
Most who read about PEDs in MMA are opposed to the inclusion of such things, and while it is hard to blame them and officials for their staunch stance against them, it's worth looking into.
Here are the pros and cons of allowing PEDs into MMA.
Thiago Silva used banned substances in his fight against Brandon Vera at UFC 125 and it gave him a huge advantage. He didn't do it for that reason.
While it doesn't excuse his actions, it is understandable that Silva took PEDs. He has a family to provide for and fighting is how he does it. PEDs improve fighting ability and they also heal injuries quickly, giving fighters a chance to compete more.
That means more money in their short time frame, and that is better for all involved.
Some fighters come from a background of traditional martial arts and some of them might see PEDs as a form of dishonor. Others might just want to win based on their own merits.
Whether it is a moral code or a form of competitiveness that motivates them, some fighters just wouldn't take PEDs even if they became legal. These fighters wouldn't just be at a disadvantage to those who took steroids and other drugs, but they would also be at risk for their life.
Less fighters would be busted for banned substances because there would be less of them to screen for. It wouldn't change the test results or stop fighters from making mistakes, but there would be less suspensions and fines to go around.
That means that less fighters would have time taken off from the short period they have to compete, and fans would be less disappointed by post-fight drug tests.
Like training or supplements, PEDs would cost money. It wouldn't be cheap to add in the cost for more enhancing drugs that MMA fighters would have to take.
Fighters at the top could easily pay for them while challengers and those lower down on the rungs might not have the cash available to do so. They would be at a distinct disadvantage.
If a fighter is given a match on short notice against a better-known opponent, he would have almost no chance of winning and only a small amount of time to prepare. Part of what makes MMA great is the fact that people have a chance to win fights even if they were given almost no time to get ready.
PEDs would hurt those fighters and so would their costs.
The message that PEDs would send if legalized is, "It's okay if you don't have the talent. Science has made it easier for you."
It also shows them that if they aren't putting in enough hard work that there are shortcuts that they can use to make it to the top. Children should never idolize fighters or athletes in general. They can make less-than-intelligent decisions and incorrectly teach children about what should be done.
That isn't going to stop younger people from wanted to be like them. Letting them think that putting drugs in their system isn't the way to go.
It may not be the most connected point when it comes to allowing PEDs in MMA, but it is the most important.