Last week, UFC middleweight Tim Kennedy estimated that between 60 and 70 percent of UFC fighters use banned performance-enhancing drugs. This week, No. 1 featherweight contender Chad Mendes went further and said that he believes 80 percent of UFC fighters use banned drugs.
“I’d probably say at least 80 percent of fighters are probably taking something,” Mendes said during an interview with Sherdog.
“You know, there’s guys that are coming back from injury trying to take it. Whether it’s them trying to survive, pay their mortgage, pay rent or whatever - or guys just trying to get that full advantage to be at the top. So yeah, I think there’s a lot of people taking performance-enhancing drugs.”
UFC president Dana White continues to insist that the sport of MMA and the UFC does not have rampant banned drug use. Recent random drug tests as well as statements like these from actual fighters, paint a very different picture, however.
Most honest and informed observers understand that high-level amateur and professional sports of all kinds have very high rates of banned drug use. The UFC is no different.
How we feel about that and what to do about it, if anything, are different matters. Mendes says that he believes random testing is a step in the right direction but that it isn't full-proof.
“I like [random drug testing]. The only thing I question about the system is what do we do about guys that are out of the country? Guys in Brazil, guys in Japan, can we trust those random drug tests?” Mendes said.
“I was thinking about this the other day: If someone were to knock on Aldo’s door in Brazil and say, ‘We need to give you a random drug test,’ and he says ‘Here’s $1,000, go away,’ it’s done. I feel like something like that could happen very easily. I just want to know what the system would be -- how could we trust that it’s going to be fair everywhere?”
Mendes is specifically implicating his next opponent - champion Jose Aldo, who is Brazilian and who postponed their title rematch because of injury. Aldo has accused Mendes of PED use and the Team Alpha Male got on the offensive, saying that he is certain Aldo himself uses banned drugs.
Do you care about banned PED use in MMA and boxing if most fighters are using? Let us know in the comments section.