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If more fighters took the same kind of public stance on performance-enhancing drugs as UFC middleweight Tim Kennedy, the sport of mixed martial arts might be better off.

Not everybody can be Kennedy, of course. He is nearly one of a kind: a cerebral and talented fighter who is willing to speak his mind. He is a special forces operator who still, 12 years after beginning his professional mixed martial arts career, still does sporadic "work" for the United States government. What kind of work, Kennedy won't say. But it is safe to assume that, given his background as an elite sniper, Kennedy isn't building roads in foreign countries.

But more importantly to our interests, Kennedy is unafraid and unapologetic when it comes to the subject of PEDs. He believes mixed martial arts is a dirty and broken sport, and he is so disillusioned with the way things are going that he's not sure he'll ever fight again. He is not retired, he told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour (h/t MMA Fighting). But he also is not in a hurry to get back in the Octagon.

Kennedy isn't scared of pointing a little blame at Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White, either. He told Helwani that he sees what he believes is "lip service" from White and Fertitta every time somebody fails a drug test. Changes are promised, Kennedy said, "and then nothing changes."

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USA Today

LAS VEGAS — Daniel Cormier stood backstage, moments away from making the most important walk of his athletic career.

He'd trained for this moment since the day his local high school wrestling coach pulled him off the street and tossed him into a wrestling room, where his life would change forever. Through all of the heartbreak, through the failed attempts at winning Olympic gold, Cormier had just one thing on his mind: being the best in the world.

He had never reached his goal in wrestling. He was famously forced to pull out of the Olympics in 2008 after a weight cut gone bad. But finally, he had his chance.

It is perhaps a fighter cliche, but Cormier had trained harder than ever. He was ready. And he believed in himself and in his skills.

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA Today

You aren’t going to like this.

The price of expunging performance-enhancing drugs from mixed martial arts will be steep, and fans will need to shoulder at least some of the cost.

Sorry, I know that stinks to hear. At this point, though, we all owe it to each other to start telling the difficult truth. In the wake of last week’s revelation that former middleweight champion Anderson Silva failed a pre-fight drug test for his UFC 183 bout against Nick Diaz, drastic action is necessary.

No one can say for sure if there is a PEDs epidemic going on in MMA, but it’s sure starting to seem that way. Silva’s positive test felt like a tipping point of sorts. If the consensus greatest fighter of all time is on steroids, it’s pretty easy to imagine the rest of the sport might have a fairly widespread problem.

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Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has a drug problem.

If you weren't already aware of this, you are now. 2015 started off with a bang for the promotion, with two consecutive pay-per-view events headlined by appealing fights.

Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier? Sign me up for that one.

The return of both Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz, and they're facing each other? Are you kidding me? I am thankful I was able to see both of those fights in person.

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In a video released Thursday, veteran Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight Michael Bisping said the news of Anderson Silva's test failure for performance-enhancing drugs has tarnished his entire legacy.

Silva, 39, failed a random January 9 test for the substances drostanolone and androsterone. The promotion announced the news Tuesday evening. In a statement from Silva's manager, Ed Soares, provided to Damon Martin of FoxSports.com, the fighter proclaimed his innocence and said he will contest the failure. It was the first positive test of Silva's career.

But Bisping said Silva being nabbed on his first out-of-competition test could lead him to believe the former middleweight champion has been using PEDs for the entirety of his career.

"My initial reaction was sadness, disappointment. I was disappointed in Anderson, but then I thought about it and was like, 'Hold on a minute—this doesn't surprise me at all,'" Bisping said. "I believe this was the first time he was tested out of competition. So who's to say that he hasn't been doing this his entire career? That's the question that is always going to be asked.

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA Today

The UFC's announcement of Anderson Silva's failed test for performance-enhancing drugs once again brought the topic of PEDs in mixed martial arts to the forefront of discussion. It's a sore subject.

But in reality, performance-enhancing drugs have been an albatross around the neck of the sport since the beginning, and nothing has changed. 

Today, intrepid MMA lead writers Jonathan Snowden and Jeremy Botter re-form their version of the Megapowers to tackle the latest installment of The Question: Does the UFC have a drug problem? 

Read on for the answer. 

Jeremy: Hey, Jonathan, do you remember the good old days? And by the good old days, I mean like two months ago, back before the UFC's current best fighter and the man many consider to be the best fighter of all time each popped for very different drugs?

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Anderson Silva will be 40 years old before he fights again.

If he fights again.

The consensus pick as greatest MMA fighter of all time convincingly outgunned welterweight Nick Diaz on Saturday at UFC 183. After watching the two enigmatic stars scrap for 25 minutes, the unanimous decision came as a surprise to absolutely no one, except maybe Diaz and his coaches.

The victory completed Silva’s comeback from career-threatening injury, but his performance also left unanswered questions and lingering doubts. Diaz was tough and game, but it was difficult to ignore the notion that Silva probably would’ve finished this fight just a few years ago.

At 39, Father Time may finally be pulling the reins a bit on the former middleweight champion. Even in victory Silva’s long-term future remains murky. His handlers think he’ll compete in the Octagon again this year, but he also left the door open for retirement.

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USA Today

LAS VEGAS — I arrived fashionably late for UFC 183, just in time for the first preliminary-card bout. But I was also just in time for Bruce Buffer's special announcement over the MGM Grand Garden Arena's loudspeakers: The bout between Jimy Hettes and Diego Brandao had been canceled at the last minute due to medical issues.

Minutes later, we'd find out that Hettes was displaying concerning signs, while getting his hands wrapped for the fight. And just like that, one of the most anticipated fights on the preliminary card went up in smoke. Sure, Brandao vs. Hettes was not Silva vs. Diaz. But it was an intriguing fight, and "circumstances" kept us from seeing it.

But mostly it was a continuation of the UFC's incredible run of bad luck. Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta would probably like to pretend the past seven days never happened. In addition to Hettes, UFC 183 also had weighty issues with both Kelvin Gastelum and John Lineker.

And in the midst of those troubles, Chris Weidman hurt his ribs and pulled out of UFC 184, and then Vitor Belfort began making all sorts of crazy demands about fighting for the "full" middleweight title (despite Weidman holding the belt and fighting last summer).

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Say this for UFC star Nick Diaz—the man knows how to put on a show. 

Spitting, taunting and at one point even laying down on the mat, Diaz made a mockery of Anderson Silva, the greatest middleweight to ever live. Perhaps he lost every stanza, though fight stats show several of the rounds were frighteningly close. But he lost his way, ending the fight with his head held high.

In Diaz world, that's just as good as a win. He was the one coming forward, even as the final bell approached. Silva, as is his wont, was unsure and unwilling to engage on anything but his own terms. A counterpuncher, he refuses to come forward as anything but a last resort.

In the past, that's led to some excruciatingly boring contests. His fight with Demian Maia was so awful, in fact, that UFC President Dana White stormed out of the arena before the conclusion, later apologizing to fans for the travesty.

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA Today

If you paid to see a show on Saturday at UFC 183, you certainly got your money’s worth—even at the fight company’s newly inflated pay-per-view asking price.

If you paid to see a fight? Well, you got more than you bargained for there too, although the outcome was never really in doubt.

In the end, returning former champion Anderson Silva walked away with a clear-cut unanimous-decision win over the always game Nick Diaz. Even in victory, however, Silva’s considerable star power couldn’t totally outshine The Nick Diaz Experience.

Diaz sneered and postured. He danced and mugged. Though he was outsized and outgunned, he went toe-to-toe with the greatest mixed martial artist of all time for five complete—if not necessarily triumphant—rounds. After the judges returned a near clean-sweep verdict in favor of Silva (49-46, 50-45 x 2), Diaz got on the mic and claimed victory.