ROUNDTABLE: Is USADA doing more harm or good for the UFC?

BY MMATorch Staff

Is USADA doing more harm or good for the UFC?


FRANK HYDEN, MMATorch Columnist

It’s hurt some of the fighters, which has hurt a few UFC events, but overall it’s done more good. Having USADA testing lends legitimacy and credibility to the UFC. As they look to continue growing, they’ll need partnerships. It’ll be easier to find those partnerships if the perception is that the UFC is legit. If there was a perception that cheating was allowed or encouraged, that would limit potential sponsors or partners because they wouldn’t want to be associated with that stuff. Short-term, you could argue that its done harm to the UFC, but in the long-term, there’s no question that this was the right way to go. If the UFC has any hopes of becoming a bigger sports organization, they needed to do this.

ZACK HEYDORN, MMATorch Contributor

USADA is absolutely doing more good than harm for the UFC. MMA and the UFC need to be clean. That’s the bottom line. The sport is dangerous as it is and having juiced up robots fighting will just make it even more unsafe. Fighters need to be responsible for what they put in their bodies so they don’t receive a positive test result. Period. USADA is doing its job and flagging fighters who are trying to skirt the rules. USADA testing is a must have, its working, and needs to stay implemented so it can continue to work.

COLE HENRY, MMATorch Contributor

I think it’s mostly a good thing. The bottom line is that it only wreaks havoc on cheaters…now I understand that some fighters have been exonerated, but for the most part I think USADA has been a good thing. I really don’t have much else to say about it. The bottom line is that fighters will have to be more careful with what they put into their bodies.

RICK MONSEY, MMATorch Contributor

USADA’s presence in the UFC has recently made some of the MMA veterans seem like their muscles have been deflated.  It’s always hilarious to look at the before and after photos.  Then there are other fighters who haven’t been on the winning side as much since USADA has taken the reigns.  Not naming any names here but we all know one or two fighters who’d qualify for that.  There has been some high profile fighters pulled because of violations with the drug testing.  We didn’t get to see some bouts that were previously promised because of suspensions.

All these situations are unfortunate but there are two things that truly matter.  Now, more than ever mixed martial artists are competing on a level playing ground (for the most part) in the UFC.

The other thing to consider is fighter safety.  There are a lot of long-term negative ramifications to an athlete’s health in taking many of the drugs that USADA has banned.  However, the most important part of fighter safety is not being killed in the cage.  The UFC has been fortunate not to have any situations come up where this has happened either in the cage or as a result of what happened during a fight.  To clarify, there have been deaths in MMA.  Some of those cases where due to weight cutting issues.  Tragic situations for sure, but the UFC thus far has been unscathed.  Hopefully, this will continue and the UFC will never be in a situation like boxing has in the past.  But if this tragedy where to occur in the UFC could you imagine what would happen if it was revealed the fighter dishing out the punishment was on steroids?  That would take a tragedy and make it into a media firestorm.

The sport of MMA is still so new and has worked so hard to clean up its image.  The UFC doesn’t need that mark on its record.  Now, again, let’s hope, pray, or knock on wood that something like that never happens. These athletes put a lot on the line when they step into that cage.  If USADA can help with safety even a little bit, it’s worth it.  Missing out on a main event sucks but that’s not what’s really important.

NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS ROUNDTABLE: Who wins the Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee fight and why?



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