The mentality of the steroid user in MMA

by Dave Meltzer | source:

How Bonnar, a veteran of the sport, got caught a second time is a different question. It could be he was unlucky. Perhaps he did the drug several weeks before the fight, but his system played a trick on him. Guidance on drug clearance time isn't 100 percent foolproof, which is why even experienced drug users on rare occasions get caught in what is generally considered for UFC fighters as an IQ test. Perhaps, taking the fight on relatively short notice, he did it to make sure he made weight. Perhaps it was being faced a fight with Anderson Silva, a scary proposition to just about anyone.

He's being heavily criticized, and rightly so. He broke the rules, got caught, and whatever the repercussions are, he has to live with them.

But there's a much bigger picture, bigger than Bonnar, far bigger than UFC, and that is the drug culture in our current sports scene and hypocrisy it causes. National heroes from Lance Armstrong to Marion Jones did what, behind the scenes, almost all top athletes in their respective sports did. They used performance enhancers. They were taught to lie to the bitter end, and in their cases, terribly bitter end. Unlike most who compete using performance enhancers, learn to avoid detection, don't win, and go on their merry way, they were brought down due specifically to their success.

But MMA is a different ball game. Steroids may cut a couple of tenths of a second, the difference between a gold medal and finishing in the pack, for a sprinter. They may turn a dozen long fly outs into home runs during the course of a season. They may allow one to throw the shot a little farther or lift heavier weights. In MMA, like boxing and kickboxing, usage allows you to punch or kick someone with more power and velocity, and do physical damage to your opponent. It's cheating in most sports, but the potential repercussions may be worse in MMA than most.

Yet, many people have marveled at obviously enhanced athletes doing physical damage to their opponents, and wanted to see those men, or women, get main events and championship opportunities. On rare occasion, when they test positive, it's pick your excuse, find a doctor to predate a prescription or whatever the game is that's being played.

Yet, use is plentiful. And one has to understand an athlete's mentality. In their world, it is not cheating, it is trying to be your best and performance enhancers are part of the game. So is timing when to get off them, and what to use in what dosage for maximum benefit in this specific sport. The majority of athletes on them have convinced themselves they are not cheating. And the majority of athletes not on them believe they are cheating.

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tags: Stephan Bonnar (detail)  UFC 153   

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Recent Comments »

Hessian site profile image  

11/5/12 9:14 PM by Hessian


Ben Rothwells Corn site profile image  

11/5/12 8:28 PM by Ben Rothwells Corn

As much as I want to see a cleaner sport, I would lose serious respect for bonnar if he pulled a canseco.

Jack_Bauer site profile image  

11/5/12 7:03 PM by Jack_Bauer

A good read. I hope Bonnar comes out and really details how rampant PED use is in MMA. He seems like a guy who may want to use his positive tests to clean up the sport?

hooha site profile image  

11/5/12 5:29 PM by hooha

Argh! i'm so sick of reading how the consequences of steroid use in MMA can result in death/injury for the opponent, as if 'roids make you superhuman!! It's been made clear that well over 50% of fighters in MMA use PEDs yet, in 20 years, how many deaths have we had in the cage/ring? In heavyweight fights there can be over 45lbs difference between fighters - how's that for a dangerous advantage?! Forcing fighters to make horrible weight cuts that do the body so much harm (and potentially make a fighter susceptible to injury during the fight)!Steroids are horrible for the user (so many side effects, some of them potentially lethal) and that should be the issue - along with the pressure athletes have to use PEDs, not feeding this fantasy that someone turns into IVAN DRAGO when they use steroids!! Fighters want to heal faster, train better and have more strength/energy - they are injured all the time and need to be ready to make their fights. It's a gruelling, demanding life and along with this "don't let it go to the judges attitude" the pressure has only increased for them to use PEDs.

bigheadrhino site profile image  

11/5/12 4:23 PM by bigheadrhino

I'm curious to see the win/loss stats from fights where fighters tested positive. From recent memory, it seems like the vast majority of the users were also on the losing end of the fight.

3rdLion site profile image  

11/5/12 3:05 PM by 3rdLion

To me it shows mental weakness more than anything, that you have to compensate for your lack of belief in your skills.

GMan99 site profile image  

11/5/12 2:33 PM by GMan99

That was about 700 words of not really saying anything, imo.

TopGrinder site profile image  

11/5/12 2:16 PM by TopGrinder

Meltzer is one of the very very few mma writers that is actually on point....