Ben Askren has always taken pride in being a clean fighter. Unfortunately, not every fighter on the UFC roster can say the same.
Speaking on the new Hot Takes segment on of his podcast, Askren discussed the performance-enhancing drug problem that has been causing problems in the UFC, and pointed out that a significant percentage of the UFC roster has popped for banned substances in the last six months alone.
“I’m on the USADA.org/news/sanctions page, and there’s actually been 22 mixed martial artists popped in the last six months,” Askren said. “Actually slightly less than six months, I did from April 1 to today, so five and half months.
“22 fighters,” he continued. “There’s only 500 fighters on the UFC roster. That means that, in the course of six months, we had roughly five percent of the UFC roster. Think about that! Five percent of the UFC roster got caught cheating within the span of six months. Now, that may not seem like a lot, but to me that seems astronomical.”
By the far highest profile PED-bust this year occurred when former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw tested positive for the injectable-only substance recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO). He was suspended two years for this violation, and stripped of the UFC bantamweight title.
Ben Askren, who is the former ONE and Bellator welterweight champion, has been clean as a whistle during his two-fight stint in the UFC. In his first fight, he defeated Robbie Lawler by submission. In his second, he succumbed to a flying knee knockout from Jorge Masvidal.
At present, Askren is gearing up for a showdown with fellow grappling specialist Demian Maia, which will headline the UFC Singapore card on October 26.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/23/2019.