Just moments after the announcement that Tim Kennedy would be fighting fellow top middleweight contender Yoel Romero at UFC 178 in September, Kennedy made it clear that he wants intensive testing prior to this fight to “set an example for the sport”.
@YoelRomeroMMA Looks like we are throwing down. FYI. I’m asking NSAC for drug testing on both of us. Lets set an example for the sport.
— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) July 8, 2014
— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) July 10, 2014
The last two months has seen quite a number of UFC fighters being popped for PED’s in random tests from the commissions. First was the UFC 175 fiasco with Vitor Belfort, Wanderlei Silva, and Chael Sonnen.
Belfort revealed he tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone back in February before TRT was banned, then Wanderlei ran away from a random test prior to UFC 175, and of course Chael ended up failing two tests and retiring.
This past week we witnessed UFC 174 flyweight title challenger Ali Bagautinov get popped for EPO.
Kennedy recently spoke with ESPN, revealing his belief that many more fighters are on PED’s in the UFC and he wants to make to take a stand against it:
They randomly test three dudes and all three fail. All in my weight class. All dudes I could potentially be fighting. I went from just being vocal about drug use, to saying to myself, ‘I have to make a stand about this.’
I’m really impressed in the change in both the climate and the UFC’s perception of it. The UFC is forking over money for testing, so it’s been top-driven, which makes me proud to be in the UFC. They are really the only organization that is doing it and it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
But the first time [the NSAC] randomly tested people, everybody failed. Imagine what that looks like across 450 athletes. Are we talking 60 or 70 percent? I really believe it’s somewhere in that range of fighters that are using.
Kennedy is right to take a stand amongst other fighters who have notably spoken out about PED usage in the sport. If MMA is to ever truly be clean, it may be time for harsher punishments for those that fail drug tests.