Anderson “The Spider” Silva is a living legend in the sport of mixed martial arts and without question, the greatest fighter this young sport has ever seen. Unlike many of the fighters in the sport today, Silva is a true martial artist who believes in honor and integrity; when Silva has something to say about the sport everyone should listen.

That’s doesn’t mean that everything Silva has to say makes perfect sense though. In a recent interview with MMA Junkie Silva said, “When the guys test for the steroids, (they should have) no more fights. When you use the steroids, you use them for a long time. When you use the steroids for a long time, you have a problem. It’s a drug and it’s not good for the sport.”

While I appreciate where Silva is coming from; especially considering seven of his 15 career UFC opponents have failed drug tests, he misses the mark in my eyes.

I agree with Silva on the belief that steroids and PEDs are bad for the sport. Even though MMA has come a long way over the years, there are many people who see the sport as barbarism still and the sport’s cloud of performance enhancing drugs does not help its image. But simply saying failing a drug test should end a fighter’s career is ludicrous.

Don’t get me wrongwhen a fighter fails a test there needs to be a severe punishment doled outbut an instant life time ban is not going to correct the PED problem in MMA. It’s just wrong to alienate a fighter who makes a mistake in judgment. Disciplinary plans need to be progressive because it’s better to educate than it is ostracize.

It’s great that the UFC is going to instate random testing of their fighter pool throughout the year, but even that and the testing the athletic commissions do for events is not enough. There needs to be a clear action plan in place that the UFC and all of the athletic commissions adhere to.

What that plan is exactlyI don’t knowbut it can’t be as cut and dry as Silva believes, because PEDs are not cut and dry. There are a lot of variables to consider and there are a lot of questions as to what actually are and are not performance enhancing. That stuff needs to be defined first before we just start banning fighters for life.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.

  • RJ….I take it you have not been informed of the new
    research that indicates the possibility that users of PED’s have improvement
    gains that could last a lifetime….even after cessation of said use (“Lifetime
    Ban for PED Use in Sports Looking Like Only Option” ChicagoNow). They are only
    just now showing this possibility….and if it turns out to be a solid
    fact…..a life-time ban may be the only consequence that truly fits the crime.
    Just sayin ;-)!!!

    Kirk Mango

    Author: “Becoming a True Champion”