Matt Serra, and his bucket of rigatoni, make their way to the cage.
Earlier this week UFC fighter Krzysztof Soszynski made the bold statement that the vast majority of MMA fighters—somewhere between 85-96%–are getting some sort of illegal chemical boost in the training room. Yesterday a bigger, more easily-spelled name in the sport spoke out in support of those allegations. In an interview with MMA Weekly, Matt Serra weighed in on what he considers to be a serious problem in the fight game.
“It’s wrong man, it’s really wrong. Let me tell you something. I got to the title without doing anything. I didn’t use anything,” Serra commented. “Me and BJ Penn are in that small percentage that don’t do (expletive). There’s a lot of guys that are considered legends, and they’re doing the GH and doing this and that, and it’s obvious, it’s freaking obvious.”
The past year has proven to be an eye-opener in terms of the blight of performance enhancing drugs in Mixed Martial Arts. Unapproved or improperly applied Testorone Replacement Therapy and fake dongs have brought the problem to light, and while neither Soszynski nor Serra cite any specifics in their findings, they have very little motivation to share an opinion that will undoubtedly prove unpopular with the Zuffa brass. As more fighters come out to address the issue it will be harder to ignore, and with the UFC’s jump to “mainstream” television, they can expect more “mainstream” scrutiny. As it stands now, many MMA-specific journalists are too concerned with being denied behind-the-scenes access to ask the tough questions. Us? We don’t really have those concerns, and it’s doubtful that more seasoned members of the media will be intimidated from covering the subject.
Beyond violating a certain expectation of fair play that we’d all like to believe was held sacred in professional sports, Serra is concerned that the augmented strength and stamina of some fighters could lead to grave injury inside of the cage.
“It’s one thing if you’re fighting for an hour, but you got 15 minutes in there. There’s certain teams out there that look like they got a freaking chemist assigned to them. It’s not that I want to judge anybody, but hey man, I’m fighting these people. Next thing you know you’re in there fighting a guy with unlimited energy that looks like a He-Man figure. I don’t give a (expletive) if it’s happening in baseball, but when a guy can kick your head off, someone can get hurt. There’s a chance for serious bodily harm.”
It’s impossible to predict when the next scandal will unfold, especially since a positive test by an up and comer rarely makes a blip on the news radar. But we know that there will be more fighters getting popped; the only question is what consequences they will face as a result.