Let’s Talk: Dana White on UFC Credibility and PEDs
By Edward Fernandez:
In a recent interview following UFC on Fuel TV 2, UFC President Dana White made it clear that he was upset about the recent PED scandals that have been plaguing the organization. He also took the opportunity to assure the media all the necessary precautions are being taken to ensure the credibility and future of the UFC.
“We test, we don’t even have to f*cking test. That’s not what we do, that’s what the athletic commission does. We test. Then the athletic commission now is doing random tests, before, leading up to the fight, after the fight. They are being tested like crazy. The f*cking testing in this sport is insane. It is literally the gold standard in all of sports.”
Dana White obviously understands the unwanted attention that PEDs are bringing to the sport of MMA. He believes that it is the fighter’s responsibility to check themselves, before they wreck themselves, in essence.
“You’re grown men, you’re f*cking adults, you’re professional athletes. How many f*cking times do you have to be told not to do this? To the point to where you just completely blow your entire fucking career.”
For those of you that believe the UFC’s credibility is being deteriorated by some fighter’s PED scandals, Dana White had this to say:
“Does not affect the credibility of the UFC. We are 100 percent more on top of drug testing than any other f*cking sport on earth, other than the Olympics.”
The debate behind PEDs is never ending, and seems to be about the only lingering issue in the MMA world. It’s also super slow to unfold, as all these tests and interviews and commission rulings don’t seem to be in any hurry to solve themselves. Though, “we’ll see what happens” seems to be a common phrase accompanied by any UFC topic.
With the second UFC on Fuel card over with and the unsuccessful return of Thiago Silva, who was suspended after his own PED scandal, I just can’t help but to share some thoughts.
With so many fighters that have been linked to failed drug tests returning to the UFC after only mild punishments (e.g. Sonnen, Silva), do you think Dana White is just defending the issue while capitalizing on those fighter’s popularity?
White, like any other president, is a businessman. He wants his company to not only bring in great revenue and attract fans, but command respect in the market as well.
I feel like the damage has already been done to the UFC. Fighters that have tested positive or missed drug tests have either already returned to the cage or there are rumors of them returning eventually (King Mo).
As for Overeem, it seems as if his high profile status has granted him immunity from the fans. Most of you want to see him fight regardless of his PED scandal results. On the business side, it would make sense to let him fight if the commission allows him to. It most likely would produce huge revenue, seeing as how the UFC got a boat load of free press (any press is good press). Also, there aren’t many intriguing last minute replacements after White shot down the idea of Mark Hunt and confirmed Mir vs Velasquez was for sure going down. You never know though.
In light of White’s efforts to convince the media the UFC’s credibility is untarnished, I think it’s safe to assume the educated fans feel differently. However, the majority of fans just flat out do not care anymore. Face it, we’ve been desensitized.
The UFC is now not about who is playing by the rules, but about who can use the rules and get the “W”. Point fighting, weight cutting, PEDs, getting your “levels” below the requirement in time, and campaigning with popularity for an undeserved fight, they’re all a part of the game.
I suppose if the fans see the fights that they want to see, without the interruption of scandals preventing top fighters from getting the highlight reel KO, it’s a win-win for all parties involved.
The UFC makes the money and redeems the “credibility”, the fans watch the fights, and the fighters play the game.