(Bagautinov’s doping wasn’t enough to earn him a victory — but that’s no reason to let him off the hook. / Photo via MMAJunkie)
Now that random drug testing is nailing MMA fighters on a regular basis, the truth is inescapable: PEDs have become the sport’s most urgent and embarrassing problem. But not every fighter is an anti-drug crusader like Tim Kennedy and Georges St. Pierre. Before his star-making beatdown of Diego Brandao at UFC Fight Night 46 on Saturday, Conor McGregor told MMAJunkie how he really feels about performance-enhancing drugs:
“I don’t really care about that stupid s–t,” McGregor said. “I’m just doing my thing. I’m just performing and getting better. I don’t care what anyone else does….Take whatever you want, I’m still going to whoop your ass.”
His words were nearly identical to what former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson said about steroids last year, and also echoed those of UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, who expressed similar sentiments on The MMA Hour recently, after it came out that his last opponent Ali Bagutinov was using EPO going into the fight:
“I don’t care if my opponents are cheating or not,” Johnson said. “I train my butt off to fight the man who is put in front of me whether he’s on steroids or not. I want to play on a level playing field, but if they knew about it beforehand and didn’t stop it, at the same time, I took care of business. No big deal.”
Except it is a big deal, and saying otherwise makes MMA look like a joke.
Look, I get it. Claiming that you don’t care if your opponents are doping scores you badass points, and it can endear you to the segment of the MMA fanbase that really doesn’t care about the ongoing scourge of PEDs. (“I like Conor because he doesn’t bitch about drug-testing like these other pussies. Let ‘em take what they want!” — Darryl T. Justbleedguy)