We are only a week and a half into a new year of betting on MMA and we already have a high profile fighter who has been busted for using Performance Enhancing Drugs. According to a statement from the UFC, Yoel Romero has violated the Anti Doping Policy for a failed sample taken in out of competition testing.
As USADA start to ramp up their effort to clean up the Sport of MMA, we will see more and more fighters like Romero get caught. Based on what we have seen so far, I expect fighters to react in a couple of different ways. They will either be spooked and come off the juice completely, or they will keep using Performance Enhancing Drugs because the payday is too good and they’ve now become too dependant on them to consider fighting without them. It’s also possible that fighters with a good income will turn to Gray Market doctors who could help them source more complex Performance Enhancing Drugs that are harder to detect.
Since the new USADA drug testing came into effect, we have seen countless upsets in the UFC and a rapid decline in many top athletes. We saw Erick Silva go from looking like a Super Hero to looking like a guy who worked at McDonald’s and we saw significant changes to the appearance of some of the best fighters in the world. We also saw guys like Renan Barao, Junior Dos Santos and Lyoto Machida rapidly decline in a very short space of time.
The new USADA testing also appeared to cause a few fighters to age rapidly such as Bigfoot Silva, Jose Aldo and Johny Hendricks. Rapid aging is often a sign that a fighter’s Testosterone levels have reduced, which can be a sign that a fighter has stopped using PEDs, because many PEDs aim to boost a fighter’s Testosterone levels.
As more and more fighters feel the pressure to stop using PEDs, we will see a greater number of fighters under perform, which obviously makes betting on MMA a lot more unpredictable. We can use 5 simple methods to help us avoid betting on fighters who could have potentially stopped using Performance Enhancing Drugs, which ultimately means that we will be placing bets that come with a lot less risk. The new USADA Drug testing will have a big impact on MMA Betting whether we like it or not.
5 ways to spot if a fighter is using Performance Enhancing Drugs…
- Be realistic… If a fighter is over the age of 35 they should not be able to look like a Body Builder. It goes against Mother Nature…
- Watch the Weigh-ins to see if there has been a significant change in a fighter’s physique.
- Keep a close eye on fight teams and nationalities. Some fight teams and nationalities have a long history of using Performance Enhancing Drugs.
- Study a fighter’s Social Media accounts in the lead up to a fight. Fighters will often post training pictures on their Social Media accounts, that you can compare to older training pictures to see if their body has declined.
- Watch out for rapid improvements. PEDs can often be used by a fighter to train harder in the gym, which means you can see a sudden improvement in cardio, strength or technique. Rapid improvements can often be a sign of using PEDs and what goes up has to come down…
The table below shows the amount of times fighters were tested by USADA in 2015. As you can see, USADA clearly appear to be cherry picking fighters who they test. For example…
Jose Aldo – Jose Aldo only fought once in 2015 and yet he was tested more than almost anyone else in the UFC. He also put in the worst performance of his career against Conor McGregor in his first fight under the new USADA drug testing programme. It’s also worth noting that Jose Aldo alledgedly refused to complete a USADA drugs test just 4 weeks out from his scheduled title fight at UFC 189. Is this all coincidence? Or has USADA suspected that Aldo is juicing and therefore subjected him to more stringent drug testing…
Antonio Bigfoot Silva, Dan Henderson and Vitor Belfort – None of these guys were that active in 2015 and yet they were tested a lot more than many other fighters. Could this be a coincidence? Or could USADA have subjected them to more stringent drug testing based on their well known history of taking PEDs?
Rafael Dos Anjos, Gleison Tibau and Yoel Romero – It’s funny that two out of these three fighters have already been caught using PEDs, but it also goes to show that USADA could be targetting guys with a physique that suggests that they could be using something to enhance their performance.
It seems pretty clear that USADA is cherry picking who they test, which means we can use the 5 tips listed above to identify the fighters who are at the biggest risk of getting caught. This means that we can avoid betting on fighters who could potentially underperform and ultimately this will help us make more money betting on MMA.
What are your thoughts on how the new USADA drug testing policies will make betting on MMA more difficult? Let us know in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter.
|Athlete Name||Test Count|
|Ronda J Rousey||8|
|Antonio Da Silva||7|
|Rafael Dos Anjos||6|
|Junior Dos Santos||5|
|Ronaldo Jacare Souza||5|
|Daniel R Cormier||4|
|Patrick D Cummins||3|
|Antonio J Carlos Jr.||1|
|Warlley De Andrade||1|
|Thiago De Lima Santos||1|
|Alex De Oliveira||1|
|Dong Hyun Kim||1|