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Tim Kennedy compares drug usage in today’s MMA scene to the Sosa, McGwire, Bonds MLB era

By Zach Arnold | August 17, 2014

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Jeff Thaler had a chance recently to interview Tim Kennedy for Fight Opinion Radio. And it was great. You can listen to our interview right here or by copying this text for the URL:

Check out Ranger Up, the clothing line that sponsors Tim along with many other fighters. Tim is on Twitter at @TimKennedyMMA.

With a fight against Yoel Romero on September 27th in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Tim feels that one more win will give him a title shot… at either Middleweight against Chris Weidman or at Welterweight against Johny Hendricks. He believes he can make 170 pounds.

As for his fight strategy against Yoel Romero?

“Don’t get taken down? I don’t know. I would be surprised if he tries to take me down. How many times have you seen somebody take me down? If they do try, I think every dude that’s ever tried has lost.”

“I do not think that he will be able to be successfully take me down and keep me down.”

Tim revealed during our interview that he asked the Nevada State Athletic Commission for random drug testing. He’s not holding his breath when it comes to the issue of an increase in random drug testing in MMA.

“I’m this outspoken proponent against [doping]. I’ve begged and pleaded, even tried to take a stand saying, hey, I’m not going to fight unless I’m randomly blood tested. And, um, guess what? I haven’t been randomly drug tested yet! I asked the commission if we could, for this fight me and Yoel both be tested, and we got ‘your request has been received and we will look into it.” Right now, I could be using every single steroid on the planet. Right now, I could have been injecting myself this morning and I would still be clean by fight.”

For a man who was in the special forces and trained by filling up buckets with concrete and using metal poles for a bench press set-up, his words of wisdom on drug usage in combat sports carry weight. Training with Greg Jackson & Mike Winklejohn, he’s training with fellow athletes like Bubba Bush & Andrew Craig in 10 five-minute round sessions. With Jon Jones recently suffering an injury, the UFC has had some terrible luck this year with the injury bug. How MMA fighters walk that proverbial tightrope of training hard without getting hurt seems impossible to fix given current training methods.

“It’s just with any sport. It’s balancing how much volume you do and what kind of training you’re doing to make you the biggest, fastest, strongest version of yourself without injuring yourself. That’s a very fine line to walk.

“I know my boss Dana wishes that we didn’t spar hard or that leading up to the fight we didn’t over-train. When I [was] getting ready for Fight for the Troops, I horrifically tore my quad muscle during the last sprint session of the last day of training and just snap! I hear my quad tear, you know it’s like… But what am I going to do? Not do sprints to get ready for a fight? No! It’s a fight. So, I don’t have a choice. You have to do those things. But the balance is always tough and trying to do it as safely as possible is where you’re always going.”

Injuries are a main reason why so many fighters use steroids, EPO, and HGH. It’s all about recovery.

“Today, I get up to do go strength & conditioning and I’m on the roller. Everything hurts. I wanted to come back and sit in an ice bath. But I’m proud that it hurts. I’m proud that I didn’t inject something in my body last week or I don’t feel the pain that’s associated with training. You know, yeah, I did it.

“Vitor Belfort and this King guy that just tested positive or the guy that just beat Bubba, I don’t even know how many guys in the past three weeks have pissed hot recently. All of them don’t know what this feels like right now. And I like that. That makes me proud and I also know that gives me something that they don’t have. That gives me an element, that gives me an advantage. Yeah, they might be a little bit faster. They might be a little bit stronger. They don’t have heart because this is how you get heart. When you like try to walk up the two stairs to get in your front door and you have to pause on the first one and look at that second star and go, oh man, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to make it right now.”

The reality is that there is a growing conventional wisdom that the scrutiny regarding doping is a media-driven creation and that the fans don’t care. Last Thursday, ESPN’s Mike Greenberg flat out stated that the next commissioner of Major League Baseball should stop focusing so much on publicizing the good, bad, and ugly about doping in baseball. A day after Greenberg’s stance, baseball owners picked Bud Selig’s right-hand man Rob Manfred as new Commissioner. Rob is on the opposite end of the spectrum from Mike Greenberg. Tim Kennedy’s mindset sounds a lot more like Rob’s than it does like Mike’s. Whenever Tim talks about getting performance-enhancing drugs out of combat sports, the backlash is immediate and swift.

“I get so much crap from everybody. Like, shut up pussy, why don’t you just use it yourself and actually have an exciting fight? It’s non-stop relentless, especially from Vitor fans or Chael Sonnen fans. Listen, I get it. They’re fun to watch. But so was Sammy Sosa and so was Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire. They almost destroyed the sport of baseball. Those three dudes alone almost ruined baseball. That’s where we are right now in the sport. We’re in the Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire era where it’s just rampant, crazy use of PEDs. And Mark [Bocek] that just retired, you know, he’s saying up to 90%. I said around 30%. Okay, fine, we’ll split it, like split the difference. That’s crazy! That is a huge problem. And we’re not hitting a ball out of a park. We’re hitting each other in the head. This is a little different. So the standards should be different and it’s not. It’s worse. Something’s got to give.”

This is just a sampling of some of the comments Tim made during his excellent 24-minute interview on Fight Opinion Radio. In addition to Tim’s interview, Jeff and I break down the latest issues regarding the impact of War Machine’s domestic violence arrest on the overall image of Mixed Martial Arts and why brain damage will be used much more as an excuse or reason in the future to try to explain memory loss along with an increase in overaggressive & anti-social behavior.

Krzysztof Soszynski is the latest fighter dealing with memory loss.

Topics: Fight Opinion Radio, Jeff Thaler, Media, MMA, podcasts, UFC, Zach Arnold | 3 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

3 Responses to “Tim Kennedy compares drug usage in today’s MMA scene to the Sosa, McGwire, Bonds MLB era”

  1. edub says:

    Please stop bringing up Greenberg’s comments. They weren’t meant in the way you keep trying to convey them.

  2. […] Kennedy spoke on a recent episode of Fight Opinion Radio on the steroid problem in […]

  3. Chris says:

    Kennedy is in a great spot to speak out about PED use. He’s in no danger of being cut as long as he keeps winning fights. So I want him to keep winning so he can continue speaking out on this issue.


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