Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport that allows both striking and grappling, both standing and on the ground, using techniques from other combat sports and martial arts. The first documented use of the term mixed martial arts was in a review of UFC 1 by television critic Howard Rosenberg in 1993.
By Paul Miller
The UFC heavyweight division was already the weakest division in the company, and now one of their biggest names has apparently failed a drug test and is out of the upcoming fight. Junior Dos Santos is out of his scheduled September 9th fight against Francis Ngannou after being notified of a potential U.S. Anti-Doping Agency violation. The test in question was given to Dos Santos on August 10th and we most likely won’t know what the supposed drug in question is until after the September fight card. Dos Santos camp is denying any wrong doing.
When I heard the news, two things came to mind, the first thought was, are professional athlete’s victims of poor testing? Every year in all sports, numerous athletes are accused of providing urine samples that test positive for banned substances and in most of these instances the athlete and all around him claim no knowledge of any banned substances being used. Does this happen in all walks of life? Is every union who tests their members for illegal drug use having multiple members a year fail and have to claim no knowledge? Is it only the world of professional athletes where so many people have no idea what they put in their body, or where so many people are testing samples improperly?
Obviously I am making light of the failed tests, because it really calls into question the IQ of all sport fans and in this case mma fans when every fighter, besides Chael Sonnen, just flat out denies they tried something to help their odds of winning. It is refreshing when any athlete takes responsibility for what they put in their body, they don’t blame it on a beach boy slipping them bad homemade sex stimulants, or just flat out blame a domestically purchased sexual aid. If any of us were professional fighters, we would most likely all push the boundaries of what performance enhancing substances we can and cannot using. So how can so many fighters expect us to believe their claims that they have no idea how they failed a PED test? Just say you tried something to gain an edge prior to an upcoming fistfight, and move on.
The second thing the Dos Santos news brought to mind was just how embarrassingly thin the UFC heavyweight division is. If you look at their top 10 and top 15 lists, the poor overall quality of fighters is as obvious as a Monday afternoon eclipse. Dos Santos is not even listed in the top 15 rankings, probably the biggest reason for this is he has not won two fights in a row since 2011 and 2012, alternating wins and losses in eight consecutive fights. Champion Stipe Miocic and Alistair Overeem are legit at the top of the ladder, as is Cain Velasquez. But Velasquez is only 1-1 since 2013 due to injuries mostly. In those two fights over the past four years, one of those was a loss to Werdum and the other one a win over a downward spiraling Travis Browne. Brown is another questionably ranked fighter who is ranked #13 even though he has lost four in a row and six out of his last eight.
Andrei Arlovski is still ranked #11 after losing five straight, how is that possible? If you drop a spot or two after each loss, where was he ranked before the current 5 losses? 1+++? Luckily for the UFC they have exciting young fighters Derrick Lewis and Francis Ngannou climbing the rankings and fighting to finish everytime out. The UFC would be well served to take some chances on some young talent currently outside the UFC, they really need a wave of new talent in that division. I would suggest maybe a heavyweight season of The Ultimate Fighter show but that show has been played out for a long time now, but what about a Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Heavyweight Series? Maybe bring in all heavyweights for 4-5 weeks, every match. Surely out of fifty fighters fighting live in front of Dana they would find at least a handful of new prospects.