At UFC 80 on Jan. 19, B.J. Penn will take on Joe Stevenson for the Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight championship.
That championship is available for the taking because previous champion Sean Sherk was stripped of his title when he tested positive for steroids after his most recent fight. And in an interview with The Sun, Penn ripped Sherk for using steroids and said it's "obvious" that Sherk uses performance-enhancing drugs:
"When I fist heard that Sherk got in trouble, honestly my first reaction was, 'isn't it obvious that he's on something?' Anybody who does steroids to smash my face in, when I'm playing by the rules, I've got a serious problem with that guy.
"Grow some balls, fight BJ Penn without steroids. That would be cool."
The Hawaiian mixed martial arts legend is dismissive of anyone who uses performance enhancers and added: "The UFC is martial arts and it's all about technique.
"Instead of sticking a needle in my arm, I'm going to go on the mat and do a hundred more arm locks and a hundred more chokes and get my technique to the top level.
"We all know it's cheating. I don't do it, so I can sit there and say it – it's cheating."
I don't know if I would go quite so far as to say it's "obvious," but Sherk's physique certainly raised the suspicions that he was using steroids. And, since Sherk did, in fact, smash the faces in of his opponents, it's a little surprising that more UFC fighters haven't been outspoken in their criticism of Sherk.
The fact is, Sherk was cheating, and his cheating increased the risk of serious injury to his opponents. Every UFC fighter should feel toward Sherk the way Penn does.