MMA fans by now know that both Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz failed drugs tests leading up to and after their UFC 183 headlining act.
On a fight card that promised so much leading up to the main event, the fight itself turned out to be rather of a frustration between the two middleweights than anything to write home about.
But hey, no big deal right? Anderson Silva is back, Nick Diaz gave the people what they wanted and we all felt like we got our money’s worth.
The post fight drug test results showed that Silva, 39, had tested positive for performance enhancing drugs, while Diaz’s positive test, to nobody’s surprise came in for marijuana metabolites, with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) director confirming to MMA Junkie that Diaz came in at double the 150 nanograms per millilitre limit.
In October, Silva went on record stating that fighters who test positive should receive lifetime bans.
“When the guys test for the steroids, (they should have) no more fights,” Silva said. “When you use the steroids, you use them for a long time. When you use the steroids for a long time, you have a problem. It’s a drug and it’s not good for the sport.”
Talk about hypocrisy. It’s hard to understand why Silva, under the circumstances of that quote would risk sullying his reputation, especially after he had suffered one of the most gruesome sports injuries anyone had seen. The whole world was pulling for him.
“(Steroids) make the sport bad,” Silva said. “If you do the sport in a good light, you have a good life. That is my opinion.”
It’s probably easy to have empathy for Silva, he was the greatest we had ever seen in the sport for the best part of a decade alongside the likes of Georges St. Pierre and Fedor Emilianenko, and the fall from the top was about as quick and strange as they come.
The knockout defeat to current middleweight champion Chris Weidman many dubbed as a ‘fluke’, and the rematch of that fight ended in even more bizarre circumstances as Silva’s leg was snapped in half is a moment that those who bared witness will likely never forget, the images plastered over social media and news outlets the next day, the sound of Silva screaming in agony, being taken away from the octagon on a gurney, many assumed for the last time in his career.
It was one of those moments where you’ll never forget where you were when it happened.
It was an unceremonious end to a career that deserved better. But such is the life of a professional fighter. Rarely do they ever go out on top.
So when months later Silva pledged his return, videos of his recovery and training camps circulated. The improbable was going to happen. Silva would return to the Octagon months after a devastating compound fracture and fight again. The MMA community stood arm-in-arm awaiting his triumphant return.
Silva has no previous history of failed drugs tests, for so many years he has embodied the picture of perfect health. But coming off over a year out due to injury, he stated post fight, his son is begging him to stop.
"My son talked to me serious," Silva said at the post-fight press conference. "When I talked to my son, my son cried. 'Dad, stop, please. Back home. Please. You don't need more fights.'"
Clearly despite his best intentions, this is not the end for Silva, who considers himself to be a man of great integrity and honour. His statement went as far as confirming it.
"I’ve been competing in this sport for a very long time. This is my nineteenth fight in the UFC. I have been thoroughly tested many times and have never had a positive drug test.
"I have not taken any performance-enhancing drugs. My stance on drugs is, and will always be, the same. I’m an advocate for a clean sport.
Perhaps it won’t tarnish his image, to many; perhaps he will still be seen as the greatest MMA fighter of all time. The Muhammad Ali of his generation.
Perhaps for his next fight, he’ll go fully vegan, gluten-free and still dismantle his opponent, just to prove that he is capable, not to you or me, but to himself.
Nothing new for Diaz
For Nick Diaz, getting popped for the old ‘Mary Jane’ is nothing new, this is now the third time he’s been caught in his pro career. But nobody really cares about Diaz right now. It’s unlikely you were in total shock and hysteria when the results came in.
Diaz who when it came to fight week did the usual Nick Diaz thing of missing his flights, missed open workouts and then proceeded to shit talked his way through the fight with Silva.
Maybe it is time for Diaz to finally once and for all walk away from the sport. He’s stated in the past that ‘he’s done’ with fighting, only to come back for a pay cheque. It was abundantly clear at UFC 183 that was the case.
So where do we go from here? Coming off the high that was UFC 183, only to come to crashing halt a couple of days later. It’s a depressing reality that the UFC has had to deal with following two of its four 2015 events.
Moreover when it’s Anderson Silva; one of the most recognizable athletes to grace the sport, and Nick Diaz, one of its most marketable fighters, you see just why the UFC has some ways to go.