If there's one thing that can set back the world of Mixed Martial Arts, it's the use of performance enhancing drugs.
What we should be watching is two guys who have mastered their respective crafts, go into the octagon and fight their hearts out to finish one another. This is not a competition of who can use steroids or HGH better—it's a competition to see who is the better fighter.
PEDs are the only deterrent from making MMA mainstream so the UFC must set the example and begin to administer out of competition testing.
1,696, 1,200, 450, 375—the numbers of players in the NFL (with 53-man rosters), MLB (with 40-man rosters), NBA (if each team used maximum roster allotment of 15 players) and fighters in the UFC respectively. These organizations do out of competition drug testing.
UFC president Dana White said at the UFC on Fuel TV 2 press conference that it's impossible to chase 375 fighters around the world to do tests; however, the NFL finds a way to test more than four times as many players, MLB three times as many and the NBA virtually has the same amount which renders that argument implausible.
It can be done.
It has been done on a much larger scale. What's missing is the passion to want to clean up the sport.
Dana claimed at the presser that the UFC has the "gold standard in drug testing" in place. But that's just not true. To leave it up to the athletic commissions to do a job that you can expand on and do better at, shows a lack of interest in wanting to clean up the sport.
UFC is in the position to be trailblazers in the MMA world by setting a precedent that PEDs are not going to be tolerated in the largest name in MMA. The UFC must realize that they have a responsibility to both the fans and to MMA to set a gold standard in trying to rid the MMA world of PEDs.
The way to do that is out of competition testing.
If the UFC just leaves testing up to the athletic commissions, Dana White deserves to be asked this simple question:
Just how much do you care about ridding MMA of performance enhancing drugs?