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By: Jason Amadi, MMATorch Columnist
Patrick writes: Why is everyone at the Torch so biased? Nick Diaz broke the law (regardless of whether or not it was more ok to break the law in another state or not), but you guys at the Torch think he should be let off. Now Overeem has his problem, which he hasn't really addressed, and everyone is jumping on the witch hunt. Title shots are the worst. Michael Bisping doesn't deserve a title shot, but yet Sonnen does (I'm talking pre judge robbery win). Overeem possibly steps out and Henderson is the likely opponent, even though he's not a heavyweight. Smashing some overrated has been while weighing over 205 doesn't make you a heavyweight. Jon Jones has never fought at heavyweight, but you guys seem to think it would be ok for him to step right into a title fight.
A: First of all, I think you need to grab a dictionary and look up the word "bias." Just because you disagree with the opinion of the MMATorch staff (and we're rarely ever on the same page anyway), doesn't mean that any one of us carries any sort of "bias."
Second of all, if you want my personal take on those issues, here they are:
1.) Nick Diaz tested positive for marijuana metabolites, which in no way proves that he was under the influence during his UFC 143 fight with Carlos Condit. The fact is, the metabolites he tested positive for weren't the psychoactive component of marijuana.
To my knowledge, marijuana metabolites aren't prohibited by the Nevada State Athletic Commission rulebook, so yeah, maybe he should get off.
2) Alistair Overeem nearly ruined the UFC 141 main event with his drug test evasion and now he's poised to actually ruin the UFC 146 main event with his positive test. I'm not sure what part of that is debatable; that's factual information.
3.) Michael Bisping doesn't deserve a title shot because he lost to Chael Sonnen. Chael Sonnen deserves a title shot because he tore through three top middleweights, took four rounds off the champion and then rattled off another two top ten victories. He really couldn't be more deserving.
4.) To my knowledge, no one on the MMATorch staff has claimed that Dan Henderson is the most deserving challenger for the UFC heavyweight title. It's just that if some of us had our druthers, he would be fighting Junior dos Santos at UFC 146. Henderson has wins over the two greatest heavyweights ever, and the matchup has enough pop to make sense from a marketing perspective.
Frank Mir is far and away the most deserving replacement for Alistair Overeem, but Henderson-dos Santos is probably the more attractive fight. I don't see the problem with admitting that.
5.) If you really don't understand why it's okay for the light heavyweight champion to move up and challenge the heavyweight champion, I don't know what to tell you. We've seen B.J. Penn challenge Georges St-Pierre at 170, Randy Couture move up and challenge Tim Sylvia at heavyweight and everyone seems to have wanted to see a fight between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar.
There is such a rich history of champions moving up and fighting other champions in MMA that objecting to a possible Jones-dos Santos matchup based on the size difference (which really wouldn't even be an issue in this particular fight) seems capricious and arbitrary.
Chris writes: I read one of your recent posts about Alistair Overeem ruining 2 out of the 3 UFC cards, and you make it clear that the UFC should do more to him. Where the heck was all of this anger in regards to TRT usage when Chael Sonnen was roided up and fought an injured Anderson Silva? Half the articles about Chael Sonnen now are that he took Anderson to the limits, and that he has Anderson's number, but I rarely see MMA columnists bring up the fact that Chael Sonnen's testosterone levels AFTER the fight, were similar to Overeems three months BEFORE he set foot inside the cage to fight JDS.
What I find alarming is how "MMA journalists" like you are quick to make Overeem "the face of steroids in MMA," when you guys clearly turned a blind eye to what Chael Sonnen did. Since testing positive Sonnen has got a gig with ESPN, numerous endorsements hosted numerous MMA award shows. I never hear MMA columnists like you bring up the fact that the guys only calling card was that he was roided out of his mind when lost to Anderson Silva.
Overeem was wrong for using TRT, but this episode has Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds written all over it, in that one guy (Clemens and Sonnen) got caught using steroids, has lied and continues to lie about it, and is living a very comfortable life because of it. While the media made the other guy (Bonds and Overeem) the face of the steroid problem, even though there's no real evidence either guy (Bonds or Overeem) has ever used steroids in the first place.
While Overeem did have a 14:1 TRT level, 3 months BEFORE THE FIGHT, Chael Sonnen had a 10:1 TRT level AFTER THE FIGHT. If you really want to break new ground Amadi why don't you write an article about this, a lot of fighters on the UFC roster use TRT. MANY fighters over the next few months are going to be testing positive until the UFC does what they should have done when Chael Sonnen tested positive for steroids, and that is make ANY testosterone drugs illegal.
A: I don't want to seem blunt, but you're pretty much wrong about almost all of this.
First of all, I never said Alistair Overeem ruined "2 out of 3 UFC cards." I merely pointed out that he nearly tanked the UFC 141 main event with his drug test evasion and that he is now poised to do the same thing to the UFC 146 main event with an actual positive test.
Second of all, this isn't some sort of witch hunt cooked up to defame Alistair Overeem; his positive test and the subsequent damage done to the UFC 146 card is a major news story because those things make him an undesirable champion for the UFC.
If Overeem were somehow able to get licensed and beats Junior dos Santos, that would be a public relations nightmare for the UFC and the sport of MMA as a whole. UFC President Dana White is now touting MMA drug testing as the "gold standard" in all of professional sports, but most people who follow the sport realize that's a farce and the UFC being forced to promote a fighter with Overeem's recent PED related issues and super-hero physique as their champion would prove it.
As far as Chael Sonnen goes, the whole reason we're even talking about testosterone replacement therapy in mixed martial arts right now is because of what he disclosed during his hearing with the California State Athletic Commission in an attempt to appeal his suspension. And for the record, his T/E ratio was 16.9:1.
Sonnen's testosterone levels were discussed heavily for a year and a half and he served a one-year suspension. Granted, he initially had his suspension reduced by pulling a fast one on the CSAC, but then he got suspended again by the NSAC for lying about conversations he had with them in that farcical CSAC hearing. With that in mind, I fail to see how Chael Sonnen has gotten away with anything. He was labeled a cheater, the world found out that he's a compulsive liar, he had his name dragged through the mud and he served a full one-year suspension just like anyone else.
Chael Sonnen was thrown under the bus in the same way that Alistair Overeem is, and if Overeem does indeed move forward with a TRT excuse like Sonnen, it'll probably be met with the same sort of skepticism.
Finally, this idea that it's okay for athletes to have outrageous T/E ratios outside of competition is absurd and needs to be done away with. Training while on ridiculous amounts of testosterone allows athletes to push harder, train longer, and recover faster. The fact is, if you abuse testosterone during training camp and bring your levels down for fight time, you're still cheating and are subject to disciplinary action.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @JasonAmadi and direct your "Ask the Torch" questions to email@example.com
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