Steroids in MMA
Which MMA Fighter Will Test Positive For Steroids Next? Presents: The 2014 Potato Awards

Worst Performance in a Drug Test: Wanderlei Silva Goes AWOL (5/24/14)

From testosterone to diuretics to anabolic steroids to the good ol’ fashion Mary Jane, there is a laundry list of MMA-hole fighters that have been busted with absolutely groovy things in their systems. However, the winner of this Potato Award never actually had a urine sample make a drug test dip stick change colors or have blood analysis fail anything. In fact specimens were never collected and therefore it is only pure speculation that this athlete was guilty of anything at all.

Wanderlei Silva’s disappearing act when a sample collector showed up at his gym to collect blood and urine specimens is now a thing of laughable legend. Silva, with the collector several paces behind him, went from the front counter and then into an office and then back to the front desk and then headed towards the back of the gym where he turned a corner with Mr. Pee Cup in tow. Then *POOF* he up and vanished like a fart in the wind, doing his best exit stage left. It was like a Family Circus comic on steroids. Figuratively speaking.

I can only imagine that he hauled ass like Marky Mark in the beginning of Pain and Gain as he jumped rooftops and fences into dumpsters where he ultimately made his escape to freedom. The only problem is that his escape garnered him a lifetime ban by the NSAC which is a sentence that is fitting for an MMA cheat but not for a hero this sport needs.

- Nathan Smith

Honorable mentions: Chael Sonnen tests positive for Anastrozole, Clomiphene, HGH, EPO, hCG, and deer musk; the UFC farms out Cung Le’s bloodwork to some local dipshits, with hilarious results.

The Cecil Peoples Shittiest Decision of the Year Award: Diego Sanchez vs. Ross Pearson at UFC Fight Night 42 (6/7/14)

Back in June, Ross Pearson battled Diego Sanchez in a lightweight tilt at UFC Fight Night 42 in Albuquerque, NM. Sanchez, no stranger to being on the winning end of atrocious judging errors (Martin Kampmann, Takanori Gomi), was fighting in his hometown, which may have played a factor in the bout’s result if you like to dabble in combat sports conspiracies.

Truth be told, there will always be room for fallacious judging, and despite seeing our fair share in 2014 right to the very end of the straw, this co-main event takes the cake.

Complete with two 30-27 scorecards on each end (which is slowly becoming the basis of incompetence for decision makers), the fight saw -165 favorite Ross Pearson landing more strikes and implementing a more effective counterattacking game plan. He staggered Sanchez numerous times in the first round, dropped him in the second, and continued to break down the former lightweight title challenger in the standup department.

But lest we forget, MMA is a sport comprised of warriors, bloodthirsty brawlers, and drunken fans, so who cares about technique? Every time “The Dream” blazed forward with the meanest of mugs, the crowd would roar, even though he would land approximately one punch in his flurry. Ultimately, he was awarded the split decision win, yet Sanchez didn’t even win one round in the common man and woman’s mind, backing up for the majority of the contest and telling the Sunderland native to come at him while eating some of brain damage’s greatest hits. We shouldn’t ignore the entertaining scraps Sanchez fought in the past, and this isn’t a knock on him. However, when someone loses, you’ve got to appropriate the credit where it’s due.

All in all, it was a piss-poor call (check out the FightMetric stats), and one that should haunt Jeff Collins and Chris Tellez (although they’ve presumably slept well since the summer). The call was so bad, UFC President Dana White aimed to treat “The Real Deal” as the winner, gifting him a $30,000 bonus despite an unsuccessful appeal to the New Mexico Athletic Commission. Pearson was slotted against Gray Maynard after that, who he mauled, while Sanchez hasn’t fought since.

- Alex Giardini

Worst Event of the Year: 174. hrgl…Sorry, I threw up in my mouth a little. (6/14/14)

UFC 174 had potential to be great. It was the staging area for the much-anticipated return of Andrei Arlovski, and the welterweight title eliminator (oh wait, not really) between Tyron Woodley and Rory MacDonald.

The event was headlined by a championship bout between under-appreciated/legitimately boring flyweight kingpin Demetrius Johnson and Ali Bagautinov. Johnson got the unanimous decision nod in a snooze-fest that perfectly capped the rest of the evening. And to add insult to injury, Bagautinov blew his post fight drug test. So his piss-poor performance was actually hot-piss-poor.

What made UFC 174 so bad was not the fact that the majority of the fights went to decision. No, what made this card SO bad was how technically terrible the fights were.  They can be put in two categories: 1) One of the fighters had literally no chance of winning. 2) Neither fighter came to fight (See: Arlovski vs. Schaub. Man, that fight was a bummer.)

This event reportedly earned less than 100,000 PPV buys, giving it the worst PPV buyrate of any UFC card since 2005. And I’ll bet every single person who bought it wishes they had spent that $55 on something else. Anything else.

- Barry Siragusa

Sponsor of the Year: Dude Wipes

(Actual marketing copy!)

Fucking Dude Wipes. Was there any other candidate?

Yeah, we’re sure some of you were thinking Reebok, but did Reebok trend WORLDWIDE when they sponsored Tyron Woodley at UFC 174?

No. Honest folk skewered them and the UFC for ultimately harming the fighters’ income by limiting their access to sponsors. Then there’s the ridiculous notion of a fighter’s ranking determining how much money they make, because the UFC’s rankings are SOOO credible.

The Reebok sponsorship represents the worst parts of MMA. Meanwhile, Dude Wipes represent MMA’s inherent insanity — one of the reasons we love the sport.

Just think about it: Not only does there exist a (needlessly) gendered baby-wipe product called Dude Wipes, but the powers that be at Dude Wipes thought MMA fans were an insecure enough market to not just buy regular baby wipes. What if someone called them out at the gym for using a product for babies, right? So they put the sponsorship on Tyron Woodley’s ASS, not only guaranteeing that it’d be seen by the target demo but that MMA twitter would lose its mind when it realized the humor behind the placement.

Even though Dude Wipes weren’t really so special in a product sense (they were literally no different than a regular baby wipe but cost about twice as much), they were special to MMA spiritually. The sport will never forget Dude Wipes, while it’ll always revile Reebok as a third-rate athletic apparel company, the Ruby Tuesday’s to Nike’s TGI Friday’s, if you will.

- Matt Saccaro

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