Pat Healy stepped in for Josh Thomson earlier this week, and he's already talking about new opponent Maximo Blanco. Healy spoke with Matt Bishop on Bloody Elbow Radio about Blanco's first fight in the States, and all but accused the latter of drug use:
Matt Bishop: Do you think this being his first fight in the cage can be a big factor for you?
Pat Healy: Yeah, I think that's a huge factor. If you've never fought in a cage before, it's a lot different than a ring. It's also his first time fighting in the States where they have athletic commissions who drug test for steroids, I think that'll be a big thing for him, too. Yeah. All that's going to affect him, I believe.
Matt Bishop: OK, I have to dig deeper on this one. So you mention his first time fighting with a commission, where they test for steroids. I can't say you're beating around the bush there, it seems like you're pretty much coming out and saying it.
Pat Healy: Well, you know, I've heard a lot of rumors. I think a lot of those PRIDE guys when they came over, they had their first performances, and you can look at all the top PRIDE guys, a lot of them came to the UFC and lost the first time and looked like they were gassed and tired and you know, I think it had a lot to do with the athletic commissions doing drug tests out here. You look at the size difference with a lot of those PRIDE guys when they were back in their hype, they looked a little bit unnatural, if you will,
Blanco made his name for Japan's World Victory Road promotion. World Victory Road claimed to administer drug tests, most infamously in the case of signing Josh Barnett following his Affliction blowup, but a quick Google search reveals no reports of a positive test. Though, without the oversight of an athletic commission, any positive tests may have been dealt with discreetly by the promotion.