By Steven Rondina
The UFC has a serious problem on its hands. This is bigger than the usual problems like free agent fighters and repairing injury-riddled cards. The UFC is at a serious crossroads when it comes to PED use, and it is not coming down on a side that the public should be happy with.
The talk, obviously, has been almost entirely focused on Alistair Overeem failing a pre-fight urine test just weeks before he was to fight Junior Dos Santos, nice guy extraordinaire, for the heavyweight title. The bout has been canceled (JDS will now face Frank Mir), which is both a huge disappointment for fans and likely a hit to the UFC’s wallet.
Make no mistake about where the UFC’s priorities lie, however. The promotion was at the helm of Overeem’s protest to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, a move that shows a blatant lack of integrity and demonstrates how much it cares about the sport itself.
No matter which way the UFC will try to spin it, there is only one message to be taken from its handling of Overeem: the UFC brass does not care about fighters’ steroid use unless they are caught, and organizers will do as little as possible when it comes to maintaining a safe, fair competition. This is not a message that should be sent, but it just keeps getting repeated.
There are several cases that demonstrate this unscrupulous policy. Though Dana White talks a big game about the UFC’s supposed cleanliness, the way he has handled several fighters tell a very different story.
- Alistair Overeem’s pre-fight drug screen suggested steroid use, but the UFC still tried its hardest to give him a title shot