It appears that Ken Shamrock is on board with the late Kimbo Slice's suggestion that fighters be allowed "extra vitamins."
This past weekend, Jon Jones caused a ruckus in the MMA world when he was removed from his UFC 200 main event slot by USADA for failing a pre-fight drug test. Jones is the most high-profile athlete affected by the USADA procedures and his failed tests renewed discussion in the MMA community about USADA and the prevalence of PEDs in the sport.
On Friday, UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock went on Inside MMA on AXS TV where he discussed PEDs in the UFC and how the situation should be handled.
"Listen I think it's pretty clear. I've taken a stance on it. My stance has always been upfront that this needs to be regulated. It needs to be a point where guys can use it at a safe level, because it does help. It does help in your health, and it does help in your recovery."
Shamrock seems to be suggesting a difference between drugs which enhance performance and those used for recovery, though that can be a tricky concept to parse out. It also should be noted that Shamrock has failed drug tests twice in his MMA career: the first time after defeating Ross Clifton in 2009 and the second after his bout with Royce Gracie at Bellator 149. But he says it isn't his past usage which colors his perception but the fact that the UFC has turned a blind eye to the problem for so long.
"I just don't see how they're gonna stop something that they've allowed to happen for so long. I think my biggest anger with this is that it seems like everybody wants you to believe that their heads were stuck in the sand when all this was going on and then when something like this happens, their heads pop up out of the sand and they go, ‘Oh my gosh I can't believe that happened! How dare you! You're such a bad person! I'm so angry at you!' And the reality of it is that everybody knows it's going on in almost every sport across the United States."
The prevalence of PEDs in competition is not just a UFC problem; all of the major sports leagues in the United States have been dealing with steroids in recent years. But, as Mauro Ranallo points out to Shamrock, fighting isn't baseball and the consequences of illegally improving one's body before using it to beat another person in the head is morally concerning. Shamrock's real issue though seems to be with the how the UFC handled one man in particular: Brock Lesnar.
Lesnar's return to MMA has been filled with controversy. The UFC normally requires a 4 month grace period for fighters coming off of retirement to be entered into the USADA testing pool, but Lesnar had this grace period waived due to extenuating circumstances. Once Lesnar was entered into the USADA pool he was tested 6 times before his UFC 200 fight. Despite this fact, his exemption still caused a minor uproar and irked many people in the MMA community, Shamrock among them.
"Zero tolerance is the key word. That's the problem. There isn't zero tolerance. Even in today's standard, where we sit right now with everything that has gone on, and we see Dana White on there saying, ‘it's unacceptable, we're not allow this to happen;' Fertitta sitting up there saying, ‘I just hope these guys understand that we're not gonna tolerate it and they're gonna have to understand when they get in UFC it's not gonna happen anymore because the testing is, they're gonna get caught;' and then you turn around with tonight's fight or tomorrow night's fight and the weigh-ins and everything and you bypass Brock Lesnar from testing. So what message are we sending to everybody?"
You can watch the full interview below, where Shamrock also talks about UFC 1.
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Sold. The UFC has been sold to a group of private investors for $4 billion; Dana White will remain with the company.
We did it! Michael Bisping vs. Dan Henderson being targeted for next UFC middleweight championship.
UFC 200. Amanda Nunes wins title to become the first openly LGBT UFC champion, and other UFC 200 results.
TUF 23. Joanna Jedrzejczyk beats Claudia Gadelha to retain UFC title, and other TUF 23 Finale results.
Dana also said they weren't selling. Dana White doesn't believe Georges St-Pierre will return to MMA, despite his recent statements.
EXTRA CREDIT READING
Aftermath. Dave Doyle breaks down the aftermath of UFC 200.
Genetics. An old article by Malcolm Gladwell from the New Yorker about genetic advantages of certain athletes and how those differ from the prohibition of steroids in sports. An interesting read if you haven't seen it which asks some good questions.
Great promo for 202 but they need to get Nate saying "He ain't even alive. I own all his shit." in the next promo. That was the best.
Post fight show for UFC 200 from my incredibly talented colleagues.
Bad weekend for Cowboy all around.
Tommy's effort best in a long time.
Coleman wants Randleman in the Hall of Fame. Seems like a great idea.
They have a weirdass picture of Ronda and that is just strange.
Maybe if Conor loses. If he wins he's definitely gonna fight Alvarez.
It's time to unify!— Jose Aldo Junior (@josealdojunior) July 10, 2016
Primo call out.
Congratulations on your victory Brock.— Junior Dos Santos (@junior_cigano) July 10, 2016
CAN I SEE YOU NOW?
This translates roughly to: If the UFC wants to honor Dan Henderson then put him in the Hall of Fame, don't steal what I won.
Se o UFC quer homenagear o Dan Henderson então o coloca no Hall da fama do UFC, não roubem o que eu conquistei!!! https://t.co/89jyGWMcCb— Ronaldo Jacaré (@JacareMMA) July 10, 2016
Lot of salt in that middleweight division.
End of the day I feel I'm best in world and will get my belt back by beating whoever it takes but this is a joke of a system.— Chris Weidman (@ChrisWeidmanUFC) July 10, 2016
Seems like Paige knows exactly what she's doing here.
Love this SHIRT pic.twitter.com/M8Kc4IknrB— Paige VanZant (@PaigeVanzantUFC) July 10, 2016
Nah. Pretty sure its JBJ sabotaging himself some more.
I feel like USADA is trying to sabotage the UFC. JBJ is a huge star. They pulled him out of the card just because he moves the needle— Vinny Magalhães (@VinnyMMA) July 7, 2016
Firas got zero chill.
Didn't u once test positive and later denied it only to be suspended?Are u claiming u always have been natural lol? https://t.co/qRsskEQGkK— Firas Zahabi (@Firas_Zahabi) July 9, 2016
Al don't think much of the call out.
— Al Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) July 8, 2016
Here's why. Can't confirm it yet but if so that's a barn burner of a scrap.
All right finally https://t.co/hQoN7ZnXMf— Thiago Alves. (@ThiagoAlvesATT) July 9, 2016
Unless what you're doing is beating up a guy and making the fans boo you. Then you stand them up because really it's about what the fans want to see apparently.
John McCarthy (@JohnMcCarthyMMA) July 8, 2016
This guy is great for rolling with the punches like he has about this whole thing.
Jon Jones (@jonjones) July 10, 2016
Honestly, Jon having two years without fighting to keep him focused is not a comforting thought for his return.
Well, there are such things as tainted supplements but I agree with the sentiment. Supplements aren't a right. You're responsible for what you put in your body. Especially when you know the risks of it. It's not like "tainted supplements" aren't all over the place in MMA. Be smart about stuff.
No such thing as tainted supplements. That's an excuse to play the system! https://t.co/vJveII7PEs— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) July 11, 2016
Man this card on Wednesday is STACKED...
Still no idea why this isn't a lightweight fight.
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TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2009: UFC 100 was held. I don't think I need to remind you all of the things that happened at that event. Aside from fights, Chuck Liddell and Charles "Mask" Lewis were inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.
2015: A year ago today, Conor McGregor became the interim UFC featherweight champion by knocking out Chad Mendes in the main event of UFC 189. In the co-main event, Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald put on the 2015 Fight of the Year in which Lawler won with a comeback stoppage in the fifth round. Also, a ton of other absurdly dope stuff happened that is too much to get into.
Too many damn thoughts today y'all. So much happened over the weekend so I won't get into it all here. Instead I'll just say this: it's pretty crazy that two of the top 10 heavyweights in the world don't even really fight MMA. Brock Lesnar just took five years off and came in and beat a top 10 heavyweight in Mark Hunt, with only 6 weeks of training. That is bananas. If he were to rededicate himself full time to MMA, there is no reason to believe he couldn't be a solid top 7-8 guy who could win the title with the right match-ups. You telling me he couldn't take Stipe down three times over 25 minutes? Not saying he would but he definitely has the ability to.
The other fighter I was referring to as a top 10 heavyweight is Lesnar's training partner and fellow Minnesota Golden Gofer, Cole Konrad. Konrad was a two-time NCAA national champion and Pan American gold medalist who put together a 9-0 record in MMA and won the Bellator heavyweight championship before retiring in 2012 to work as a commodities broker. Conrad is still only 32 years which makes him younger than everyone in the top 10 and older than only Stefan Struve, Rusland Magomedov, and Derrick Lewis as far as ranked fighters go. It's seems a certainty to me that were he to train seriously, Konrad could pretty easily handle most of the heavyweight division. It's a shame we don't get to see it.
Anyway, hope y'all enjoyed 200. We are now in a brave new world where Ari Gold owns the UFC instead of Lorenzo Fertitta. Until tomorrow, be easy.
If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy them.