Anderson Silva, Nick Diaz Both Fail UFC 183 Drugs Tests – Why No One Should Be Surprised
Another blow was dealt to the sport of MMA Tuesday evening as the drug test results for UFC 183 came back hotter than usual. Anderson Silva was flagged for drostanolone and androsterone in his out of competition pre-fight drug test on January 9th, while Nick Diaz tested positive for marijuana metabolites in his post-fight drug test.
Mixed martial arts has had a rough year, and while the premier MMA organization has done its best to stem the loss, Tuesday showed that even their biggest and most reliable stars can falter under the bright lights. Anderson Silva has done incredible things for the UFC, as well as for the sport, but as we learned in July of 2013, even Superman is a victim of vulnerability and temptation. After being knocked out by young gun and current Middleweight Champion, Chris Weidman, Silva was granted an immediate rematch that took place in December of 2013 at UFC 168. Unfortunately for “The Spider”, a gruesome injury befell the former champion in the form of a tibia snapped like Bruce Wayne’s spine over Bane’s overgrown knee.
Luckily for us fans, this was not to be the end of the legend. The greatest of all time made a fast recovery and booked a fight against resident bad boy and all around entertaining thug from Stockton, Nick Diaz. Although this fight looked slightly ridiculous on paper, the draw of these two veterans duking it out was more than enough to make fans, journalists and pundits salivate like Pavlov’s dogs. In the fight, we were not disappointed. Both men are known for taunting and clowning their opponents, but it was Diaz who came out looking like he was about to perform on Broadway. He yelled at Silva, dropped his hands, danced around like Muhammad Ali, turned his back to the best MMA knockout artist of all time, and even laid down on the canvas like he was being sketched by Leonardo DiCaprio, as though begging for Anderson to draw him. Alas, Diaz’s antics did not prevail. In a strange and tentative fight, shots were exchanged almost half as frequently as verbal insults flew from Diaz’s mouth-guard-filled-gull. In the end, the score cards read Silva and he dropped to his back, balling emotionally like a child who was told they had to leave Disneyland four hours too early.
In the end, it was an interesting evening, but one that was far from historic. No matter how many times the UFC cameras showed Silva taking in-cage advice from Light Heavyweight Champion and recent drug test failure recipient, Jon Jones, it wasn’t unlike multiple other fight cards.
But then the drug test’s came: steroids for Anderson, cannabis for Nick.
For Diaz, this is no surprise. He tested positive for marijuana after his Pride 33 bout with Takanori Gomi, a bout which he won by the first ever gogoplata submission in MMA history, and was immediately overturned by the NSAC, because his metabolites for THC were so high that it was impossible for Diaz to not be intoxicated during the fight. He tested positive for marijuana again after his UFC Interim title loss to welterweight staple Carlos Condit in February of 2012. Although the MMA community in general condemns athletic commissions for caring about marijuana at all, his failure is still cause for suspension. Rules are rules, after all. But what is really surprising, is Anderson’s failure… Or is it?
Just as news broke, well-known MMA journalist Jeremy Botter tweeted:
“@mmaencyclopedia: The sanctimony is disgusting. The same people who were wowed by Anderson Silva’s fast return to training are now upset by his methods.”
It isn’t crazy to assume that a 39-year-old legend of the sport could fall from grace and crave nothing more than to gain back even the slightest amount of notoriety and respect. Steroids, after all, aren’t only used for enhancing one’s athletic performance, but they are also used in the healing process of significant muscle wounds. Anderson Silva threw a devastating kick at what I can only image was 250 miles per hour, and managed to hit his shin directly on Chris Weidman’s knee cap, splintering his bones as severely as his image. Without a doubt, he was initially prescribed some form of steroids. Anderson Silva isn’t a freak of nature. He’s a gifted athlete with incredible reflexes, reaction timing, and unparallelled accuracy in his limbs, as was evident in his latest victory over Nick Diaz. In no way is he superhuman, void of the need for medicine or uncompromising in his loyalty to organic, natural competition. Anderson Silva is a man with a goal, and someone who will do anything to achieve it. Haven’t we learned that over the past decade already?
Photo by: Tiago Hammil under Creative Commons License.