UFC middleweight Tim Kennedy believes that 60%-70% of all UFC fighters are using banned performance-enhancing drugs and treatments and is concerned that not enough is being done to catch users. On the one hand, he says he is proud to be part of the UFC because the promotion has begun to pay for commission expenses to do random drug tests of athletes.
On the other, Kennedy is insisting on random drug testing for his next fight - against Yoel Romero, Sept. 27 in Las Vegas. “Whatever it takes to ensure we are moving toward having a clean sport, which we are nowhere near right now,” Kennedy told ESPN.com.
“Something has to change.”
Although UFC president Dana White has often brushed off suggestions that banned drug use is rampant in the UFC and all of MMA, Kennedy has good reason to be concerned. In the past six months, the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) has tested or attempted to test three UFC fighters randomly, Vitor Belfort, Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen.
Sonnen failed two separate random drug tests and now faces up to $250,000 in fines. Belfort also failed a test this year, his second in Nevada, and Wanderlei Silva fled from an attempted test by the state.
All three fighters are middleweights like Kennedy. “They randomly test three dudes and all three fail,” Kennedy said, plainly.
“All in my weight class. All dudes I could potentially be fighting. I went from just being vocal about drug use, to saying to myself, ‘I have to make a stand about this.'"
Kennedy went on to say that he's willing to pay for half of the cost of random testing he and Romero leading up to their fight.