Recently-retired UFC lightweight Mark Bocek is the latest MMA fighter to say that use of banned performance-enhancing-drugs (PEDs) is more than a problem in MMA and the UFC, but that it is simply the accepted norm. “I think it’s worse than people realize,” Bocek said.
“I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the way things are going, you kind of deserve to lose if you’re not on PEDs nowadays. I used to think of it as cheating, but you can’t call it cheating when everyone is doing it. You go in there and lose to someone on PEDs, it’s like, what did you expect? Did you think you were going to knock out some guy on PEDs in the highest MMA league in the world? People get away with cheating in the Olympics, which has much stricter testing than in the UFC, so you can imagine what people get away with in the UFC."
No one could reasonably accuse Bocek of simply having sour grapes because he couldn't hack it in the UFC. The world-class grappler had a solid UFC record, went out on a win and won three out of his last four bouts.
Over the course of his seven-year UFC career, Bocek only lost to some of the very best, and always rebounded from losses. So, because it would appear that the Canadian has no real axe to grind with the sport of MMA or the UFC and its regulators, it is particularly important to listen to what he has to say.
Not only is Bocek joining other past and current UFC fighters in saying what insiders have always known - that banned PED use is the norm in amateur and pro fight sports (just as it is for most other high-level athletics), but the Tri-Star fighter also said that he believes the UFC isn't truly interested in real, substantive drug testing. “Random testing works," he said.
"All the guys that have gotten random-tested failed. But they cost money, they are expensive. It appears to me like UFC is kind of against drug testing because if we use any of these VADA voluntary doping tests or clinics, these results come out before actual fights, so you don’t get to cash in your pay-per-view money. If we stick with the laxed commission testing, all those results come out after the event, so just in my opinion, I don’t really think they are for testing,” Bocek said. “But yeah, it looks like most people are on drugs and the more successful you are, the more money you have. The more money you have, you get targeted by guys like Victor Conte or some chemist and they’ll come up with a drug you can’t test for or is undetectable because you have the money for those things.”
Do you want to see fight promotions like the UFC get more serious about drug testing, as Bocek seems to suggest? Or, do you think the problem is exagerrated or that there isn't much more the UFC or regulators can do about it?
Let us know in the comments section.