Anthony Johnson provided the most entertaining commentary on PEDs I’ve ever heard this week. He managed to mention fighter pay, Chris Benoit, and steroid abuse; each in the least politically correct manner possible, all within the span of a few minutes. Bravo, sir.
If Faux pas were in the Olympics he’d have medaled for this performance easily.
"As Long as They Don't Kill Nobody..."
While Rumble certainly put forth an absurd notion, that the UFC should become a real-world version of Mutant League Football, I can’t help but admire his casual indifference to consequences of any sort. He either doesn't have the capacity go give even a single fuck about his position within the company, or he feels very secure with the lack of depth in light heavyweight at the moment. Because complaining about the money you're making immediately after being re-signed just doesn't seem like putting your best foot forward.
And as incoherently packaged as his statements were, in the middle of his befuddled ramblings he did circle around a decent point from time to time:
"With as much training as we do, you have to take something,..I mean, it doesn't have to be illegal, but you have to do something, because you just can't say ‘I'm going to go home and go to sleep' and just wake up in the morning and feel better. It doesn't work like that."
That’s sound logic right there.
Fighters push their bodies to extremes, and if they can’t recover quickly enough to return to practice the next day, they fall that much further behind their competition. If they aren't on some sort of supplementation program in order to get ahead, they certainly should be. In a sport where your health is at the level of risk it is in MMA not working for every competitive inch possible is just plain foolish.
The incentives to get extra-legal with those supplements are undeniable as well. I mean, it’s not as if the drug tests given to these athletes are fool-proof. In fact, there is apparently an entire new generation of nigh-undetectable performance enhancers that are in wide spread use.
While I can’t say I support the outright mutant league free-for-all proposed by Johnson, I don’t think a blanket ban of anything new and scientific is the best approach either.
MMA Mutation and Adaptation
A doctor friend of mine recently explained to me that the Y chromosome (that which makes men so damned manly) is a genetic avenue for evolutionary experimentation. Meaning genetic mutations and adaptations make themselves more apparent in males than females. This accounts for our predisposition towards adventure and high risk activities, like oh say: cage fighting, or treating our bodies like science experiments.
In other words, we’re genetically predisposed to try and push the envelope in order to see what we can do, and how we can become more capable at it. With the advent of culture and more specifically, medical science, our ability to experiment with our limitations increases by leaps and bounds. Especially when juxtaposed next to good old fashioned hereditary adaptation. Proportionally, so too grows our responsibility not to make massive and unhealthy hulk-like creatures.
What up, Bob Sapp?
Thinking about it in that light, engaging in combat sports like MMA isn't too different than crowd-sourcing a genetic experiment on an enormous scale. Everyone is trying to push athletic performance and skill retention to another level. The idea should be to temper our enthusiasm for gaining super powers with scientific restraint and procedure.
How that should actually be applied? Hell if I know. I’m just a dude with a keyboard and a subscription to fight pass. So how smart can I possibly be?