Initially, this weekend’s UFC 215 card included a dynamite heavyweight scrap between former champion Junior Dos Santos and red-hot contender Francis Ngannou. Regrettably, Dos Santos was notified of a potential anti-doping violation by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), and yanked from the card’s lineup as a result.
Speaking to Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com, one of Dos Santos’ rivals, former heavyweight champ Fabricio Werdum, was asked for his take on the issue. Though Werdum admitted he and Dos Santos are not exactly friends, he assured that he would not be judging his fellow Brazilian until more information has been gathered.
“I think it’s a pity that this happened, but we have to wait for the second test,” Werdum said. “We don’t get along because we fought in the past, but there’s no reason to say anything bad about him. That can happen to anyone, to unknowingly take something that is banned. I have no right to say anything about this case. We have to wait for the the second test to find out if he really took something… If he really took something he has to pay for it without fighting for a while, which is a pity.”
In fact, Fabricio Werdum admitted that he find’s USADA’s iron-fisted rule over the UFC roster to be a little too strict. He shared his gripes with the organization:
“I think that this testing is too much, too strict, It didn’t have to be that much. It’s one thing to take something to recover faster… I’m not saying steroids, no. What I say is that USADA is too much sometimes. It’s too much. It didn’t need that much. This testing is stricter than the Olympics. I’ve never seen this before. I think it could be better. There are things that you could take that wouldn’t affect your performance, but you would recover faster. We train too hard.”
“Anyone is subject to going through this. Sometimes it’s not even something you take knowing it’s illegal, but you unknowingly take something in your supplement. It’s tough. We have to call and check everything you take all the time, anything you eat or any supplement you take. It can happen to anyone.
“When you talk about doping people think of the extreme of the extreme right away, but it’s not like that. Sometime it’s pretty simple, like what happened to Lyoto [Machida]. It was really unfair, and he stayed away for almost two years because he said he took something (he didn’t know was banned). That was absurd.”
What do you think of this take on the situation from the former champ Fabricio Werdum?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 9/5/2017.