Near the start of the year, the Nevada Athletic Commission (NSAC) announced that former UFC 185-pound champion Anderson Silva had tested positive for performance enhancing drugs in his UFC 183 out-of-competition test. The news sparked outrage in the MMA community and brought into question the legitimacy of the longtime champion's career.
However, many fighters have since come to the longtime middleweight kingpin's aid, most recently Quinton ‘Rampage' Jackson, who sympathized with Silva and the potential reasons he may have had for testing positive.
"I look up to Anderson Silva no matter what," Jackson told members of the media ahead of UFC 186. "The guy is coming off one of the worst injuries known to man, stuff like that, and he's older. When I heard that (he tested positive) I wished it wasn't true."
Ahead of his UFC 186 match-up against Fabio Maldonado, the former light-heavyweight champion reiterated his dislike for performance enhancing drugs, particularly in combat sports, where the risks involved are all too real.
"It is one of those things; fighters taking steroids - I don't believe in it. Baseball players are not contact so I don't care about those guys. Fighters can hurt players if they take steroids."
Looking back over his time at PRIDE FC, which was infamously known for not testing fighters for PEDs, Rampage remembers how naïve he was early on in his career when it came to questioning other fighters.
"I was so young that I didn't know what steroids even was. I'm from Memphis and I couldn't even tell who was and who wasn't. I didn't care. I just liked fighting."