The UFC has squeezed some of this year’s most anticipated fights–Weidman-Machida, Edgar-Penn III, Rousey-Davis–into Fourth of July weekend. But it’s the fight not taking place–the drug-doomed Sonnen-Silva clash–that Breitbart Sports asked B.J. Penn and Lyoto Machida about on the UFC’s Monday afternoon conference call.
“The EPO probably gives him better endurance in bed, no?” Penn joked about Chael Sonnen’s claims that he took banned substances to conceive a child with his wife. Erythropoietin (EPO) increases red blood cell production that boosts endurance by facilitating oxygen delivery to taxed muscles.
Following Sonnen’s initial test fail showing the presence of estrogen and anti-breast cancer drugs, a second test revealed human growth hormone and erythropoietin, as well as traces of other performance enhancers unrelated to fertility, in his system. Sonnen’s scheduled UFC 175 opponent, Brazilian Wanderlei Silva, comically fled when an emissary from the Nevada State Athletic Commission attempted to administer a random drug test at his gym.
“I am really excited now that they can test for the HGH and EPO,” Penn offered. “I always suspected that people were taking [human growth hormone and erythropoietin].” The multi-weight fighter holding victories over Matt Hughes, Jens Pulver, Sean Sherk, and Matt Serra believes that the NSAC’s crackdown on cheaters means “the playing field will be much more equal.”
Lyota Machida, who takes on Chris Weidman for the middleweight championship this weekend in Las Vegas, isn’t so sure. “It’s hard to say what it’s really doing,” he said through a translator. “I don’t know how effective it is.” The NSAC earlier this year prohibited exemptions for testosterone-replacement therapy that had been used by Sonnen, Dan Henderson, Vitor Belfort, and a few other fighters. Machida, who boasts victories over Henderson, Randy Couture, Rashad Evans, Rich Franklin, and Shogun Rua, hopes that when fighters step into the octagon “everyone is the same level.”
Though Sonnen has habitually insulted Brazilian jujitsu and Brazilian fighters, Machida refrained from piling on the American Gangster. “I’m not really someone to judge someone on what they do,” the UFC’s former light heavyweight champion explained. “It’s not my place to judge him. He knows what he’s doing and what’s best for him.”
“Chael is a buddy of mine,” Penn conceded when asked by Breitbart Sports for his reaction to cheaters. “It’s sad to see what Chael Sonnen’s going through.” Like Machida, Penn became a legend in mixed-martial arts more through his mental acumen than his physical prowess. So fighting an opponent with ill-gotten advantages obviously bothers the fighter almost always at a disadvantage due to differences in size or strength. His sharp words and energized tone indicated that the subject of drug rule-breakers irritates him.
Penn, who fights similarly “clean” fighter Frankie Edgar on Sunday for a third time at The Ultimate Fighter finale, told Breitbart Sports of an “ends justify the means” mentality among some of his peers. “If I didn’t do it, I would have got cut and I wouldn’t have this big house,” he summarizes the prevailing attitude of drug cheaters.
“That’s not my morals,” Penn bluntly explained. “That’s just not me.”
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