Four fighters stepped into the Bellator cage on October 3 with banned substances coursing through their bloodstreams, and thanks to some California State Athletic Commission inspectors wielding plastic cups, those fighters have been busted. Normally, this news would involve someone from the UFC failing in spectacular fashion – maybe they’d done every drug known to man, or when the commission rep showed up at their gym they high-tailed it out the backdoor. But no, this time it’s Bellator under the cruel glare of the spotlight, with the fighters Rob Emerson, Keith Berry, Fernando Gonzales and Nick Moghaddam pissing hot.
Here’s MMAJunkie with the deets:
Emerson, a UFC vet, tested positive for modafinil, a drug that reportedly aids mental focus. Gonzalez popped for marijuana, while Moghaddam and Berry both were flagged for marijuana and elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone (T/E) ratios. Foster said the ratios were well over the 4-to-1 limit allowed by the CSAC, though he was unable to provide exact numbers at the time of this writing.
“Boo! Our sport is overrun with drugs!” you might be saying to yourself, but that’s a glass-is-half-empty way of looking at this. Why? Because these four Bellator fighters getting popped is a good thing.
It means that, even when the UFC isn’t in town doing a show and all eyes are on the event, an athletic commission will still do its job (which isn’t always the case with non-UFC events). It also means that the sport is slowly but surely getting cleaned up.
This has been an awful year in terms of fighters getting caught for banned substances, with Chael Sonnen, Wanderlei Silva and many others making a mockery of MMA and the notion that fighting is a noble endeavor. But random and unexpected drug tests – though catching quite a few bad fish now – tend to have a chilling effect on fighters who might be considering the upside of cheating.
That’s a “win” in my book.