If you’re unfamiliar with the saga of MMA in the province of Ontario, lemme give you hosers a little primer, eh. The Ontario Athletic Commission is basically the personal fiefdom of its long-serving head, old-school karate douche Ken Hayashi, who actively blocked the sanctioning of MMA in the province for years. His official reason was that MMA is federally illegal, since the exemption in the “prize fighting” law that permits boxing can’t be extended to MMA because of its wording (technically a valid point). The main unofficial reason was simply his personal disgust/hatred for the sport. But don’t think he singled out MMA, since he also blocks or generally harrasses the shit out of every combat sport except karate (of course). Kickboxing is only permitted in a watered-down form with no elbows or leg-kicks, and even the boxing world hates his ass for seemingly trying to over-regulate them out of the province.
Minimizing even boxing must make Hayashi’s job rather easy, which brings us to his second unofficial reason: the OAC is simply ill-equipped to regulate multiple combat sports at once. Hayashi once infamously complained that they couldn’t handle two boxing cards eight days apart, or more than 4-5 total per year for that matter, which makes one seriously wonder how they manage events the size of the UFC. And if even Nevada has its share of reffing and judging incompetence that it refuses to acknowledge or deal with, you bet your fragrant ass Ontario has a history of such issues that continues to this day. Lucky for us, the OAC finally caved to public/political pressure and sanctioned MMA last year (despite no change in the law), and the UFC is by now accustomed to operating in lawless locales, so Ontario is presumably par for their course.
And so we arrive at last weekend’s UFC 152, where Zuffa handled the drug testing duties themselves, because the OAC can’t be bothered with such trifles. Any red flags will be passed on to the OAC for their action (or lack thereof), but one little thing that won’t be revealed to anyone at all is the names of those who were permitted to juice up on extra testosterone. After repeated requests from TheScore.com, the UFC has claimed they “can’t” disclose which fighters have asked for a TRT exemption. Which of course really means they just don’t want to, so they won’t.
Theoretically, it could be anyone on Saturday night’s card, but Vitor Belfort’s name stands out in particular. I’m not making any unsubstantiated accusations here, but a 35-year-old with a previous steroid bust who jumped up a weight class on a month’s notice kinda seems like a prime suspect to me. With all the other aging veterans like Hendo, Sonnen, Franklin, Rampage, Mir, Fo-Griff, Hallman, and Overeem using TRT to apparently battle such horrific medical conditions as Father Time, malfunctioning gonads, or the lack of gigantic superhero muscles, it’s hard not to look hard at Belfort on this one.
The UFC likes to act like the TRT issue is out of their hands, but if this isn’t evidence of their tacit approval, I don’t know what is. And the incompetence and/or inaction of the OAC and other athletic commissions only enables the UFC’s enabling of what is in effect steroid use.