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The Curious Case of Drugs in MMA

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Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones shocked the world announcing he had entered rehab earlier in January.
Image: MMAFighting
Drugs in the UFC has always been a broad topic and important issue. Whether it is inside or outside the cage, drugs are tearing apart the legacy of champs, former champs, and former bright young stars. 

At this point the association of drugs with UFC fighters is getting out of hand. We have always known that some fighters have cheated in the pass to get an advantage in a fight by using steroids or testosterone, or diuretics, but now do we have to worry about other hardcore drugs taking a role in the cage?

The two most notable and recent cases of this are the current Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones and former WEC bantamweight champ Brian Bowles. 

In this article, I'll show you some examples of fighters that career's have been ridiculed, tampered or ruined whether it's street-drugs or steroids and how at times it is connected with the lack of money the fighters are getting.

Jon Jones

As we know Jon Jones tested positive for cocaine prior to his fight against Daniel Cormier. The failed test happened a month before the fight.  I don't want to accuse anyone of anything but as the owner and president of a company, I wouldn't doubt that the Fertitas and Dana knew about this before the fight took place.

All Jones received was a 25k fine which is nothing to Jones financially.  The UFC states that the failed test occurred in an out of competition test, but that makes no sense to me.  If this happened a month before the fight, that means he was training for the fight while at some point being under the influence of a hardcore drug like cocaine.

Jones is a huge star, so the rules seem to bend for a him, but any lower level fighter probably would have received a pink slip.  In my opinion, the 50k FOTN bonus should have been taken away just like any other fighter's bonus would have been taken away if they failed a drug test.  All in all, make things equal and fair. 
Image: DRJays.com
Brian Bowles

The former WEC 135lb champion was recently arrested for possession of meth, marijuana, and valium all with the intent to distribute and along with some firearm charges.  At one point in time, Bowles was an undefeated WEC champ with the potential of having a fantastic career ahead of him.

After a couple wins in the UFC after the merger, Bowles was matched up with Uriah Faber in which he was finished with a choke. He took over a year off and returned to fight George Roop at UFC 160.  Bowles lost by TKO and tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone in which he received a 9 month suspension and hasn't fought since.  Now it's just a matter of time before the UFC cuts him or buyout his contract.  As a fan of Bowles' I hope he can get it together in his personal life. 
Potential down the drain? Image: MMAJunkie.com
Paul Kelly

Do you guys remember Paul Kelly from the UK? Well the former UFC lightweight/welterweight is currently doing a 13 year prison sentence for heroin trafficking.  After being cut from the UFC after going 5-4, it was assumed that Kelly turned to heroin trafficking to make money.  The only question is, how long was Kelly taking part in this?  Could the UFC have paid him more money to keep him from turning to drug dealing?

Image: ElectricOceans.com
Matt Riddle

The self proclaimed "Deep Waters" was cut from the UFC in 2013 after 2 failed drug tests for marijuana.  After fighting all of his professional fights in the UFC, the UFC decided to let go of Riddle even though he was on a 5-fight winning streak. 

Now when the minimal punishment was dropped on Jones, Riddle was furious, Tweeting to UFC and Dana White: "You dumb b****es fire me for [marijuana] while you allow fighters to use hard drugs with zero consequences. #ufcistrash". The Tweet has since been deleted, and Riddle is pursuing a career in pro-wrestling.
Image: MMAFight.com
Pat Healy


In Pat Healy's UFC debut against Jim Miller, Healy earned the Fight of the Night along with the Submission night, that earned him a total of 130k in bonus money.  Healy would loose this money due to failed marijuana test.  

Now Jones makes way more money than Healy by a landslide.  Healy lost all his bonus money to weed.  Jones didn't loose any bonus money against Cormier and only took a 25k fine, which is nothing to him.  How is this fair?  

In a perfect world, all men would be treated equally but in most cases they aren't.  I am sure Healy really needed that 130k as well.  The UFC states that cocaine isn't apart of the banned out of competition drug list.  Out of competition though?  I am pretty sure Jones was training during the cocaine usage.
Healy's $130k earned from the night would all be lost to a failed marijuana test. Image: ESPN
As the UFC continues to grow as a sport across the Globe, it's surely time to iron out these inconsistencies and bring fairness back to this matter. Otherwise, it could spark uncontrollable furore, potentially deterring the sport.

More: UFC 183 coverage
- Fight night report
- As it happened
Month in Review: Best of UFC, and more sport from January 2015

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TheSportMatrix • We Live For Sport: The Curious Case of Drugs in MMA
The Curious Case of Drugs in MMA
Whether it is inside or outside the cage, drugs in MMA are tearing apart the legacy of champs and former champs, and former bright young stars.
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TheSportMatrix • We Live For Sport
https://www.thesportmatrix.com/2015/02/Drugs-In-MMA.html
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https://www.thesportmatrix.com/
https://www.thesportmatrix.com/2015/02/Drugs-In-MMA.html
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