In the sport of mixed martial arts, being able to have an advantage – even if it’s merely an inch - can determine the difference between winning or losing. It wasn’t until recently that the UFC implemented a heavier approach to fighting banned substances in and out of competition.
Since then, fans have bared witness to disciplinary action against some of the greatest talents they grew up knowing as being practically invincible in the cage.
Unfortunately, some fighters’ legacies have been tarnished by the UFC’s crack down on banned substances because what aided them in gaining the advantage in the old days was really just a form of flat out cheating.
Of course, that isn’t to say that all fighters before the anti-doping era were on performance enhancing drugs, but as we continue the journey into the new era of the UFC, the ones that relied on the assistance of performance enhancing drugs are becoming more and more exposed.
But at the same time, because these parameters for anti-doping are so tight, fighters who aren’t using drugs that provide performance enhancing benefits are also being slammed by athletic commissions.
Here are Sportskeeda’s top 5 high-profile drug scandals in UFC history.
#1 Nick Diaz
You must have an impressive following if, after a highly publicised failed drug test, you gain even greater momentum with the fans. Both the Diaz brothers have always been major fan favourites and Nick has been the spearhead of controversy for the two brothers.
It really came as no surprise to the MMA community when Diaz was hit with a failed drug test involving marijuana after UFC 182. But what they were surprised by was the extent of his punishment.
Also read: 5 Drug scandals that WWE want you to forget
The Nevada State Athletic Commission showed no mercy for Diaz after returning a tainted sample laced with the drug, by slapping him with a whopping 5-year ban and a $150,000 fine.
The shock factor from the punishment was so high that people began using the term “Free Diaz” on social media to address the issue, because, in a way, the commission had halted the welterweight’s form of income for an entire 5 years due to the ban.