I , like many others, fell in love with this sport years ago. It wasn't just the brutality, gore or violent nature of the sport, although, I believe any fan who states that doesn't affect their opinion of it is a liar. No, to me it had more to do with its genealogy. Its raw, primeval yet somehow harmonious nature. One versus one. My body against yours.
It is as natural as our quest for knowledge. Find me a man or woman who completed puberty without at least the threat of physical violence. You can't. It's impossible. Fighting is human. It cannot be denied regardless of laws, political agendas, evolution or idealized views of a utopian future. Fighting will ALWAYS have value to our species.
Who would have seen the changes and mutations the sport of fighting would take over the course of 200 years? From the slave trade training of Capoeira, to the all time greats of Boxing, Joe Louis to Ali to Tyson. The godfather of MMA who's name needs not to be stated to the massive amounts of people he influenced, not just involved in his own revolutionary art but, in all of the traditional arts we can pick techniques from today. The lineage is a study of the evolution of a particular trade all by itself. A trade which is simply inherent in every human being.
That said, it seems incredible, what has transpired over the course of our sport since its genesis regarding performance enhancing drugs. The system has gone from one of outright disapproval to one where, not only are there exemptions for those that wish to increase their chances synthetically but, essentially, acceptance that this is a legitimate and necessary process for fighters that have destroyed their own bodies by use of synthetic substances in the past. Oversaturation of media stories related to PEDs and TRT has desensitized us to their use. Perhaps, that's not a bad thing.
As these products become more and more prevalent, so to will their use, diversity and difficulty to test for. They are not going away anytime soon. If anything, use will naturally increase when cleaner, less harmful and more stealthy substances are invented. There is simply no way to prevent enhancements to the human body and mind. We are a curious species. Our goal is always to succeed our previous goal. We always do.
It is time for complete acceptance. As Jon Jones has been naturally gifted long arms and legs and a brain that can use them effectively, Dan Henderson and Vitor Belfort have been naturally gifted testosterone produced outside their own bodies. If it allows them to compete past what their age ceiling without use would be, I'm all for it.
After all, I watch this sport to be entertained by the highest possible level of fighter. The best version of a human being that can be produced for combat. Fighter's that push the limit of human potential.