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You Might Be A RoidBall…

It is so sad, so heartbreaking. So many fighters live in denial about their problem steroid addiction. (“I didn’t know it was in my supplements.” “I felt weak and moody during training camp, sniff-sniff” “A ‘doctor’ said my hormone level was deficient, as did my wife, heh-heh.”) To help our flummoxed fighter family find its way past roid rage and towards acceptance, we here at Fightlinker offer a simple 12-step diagnostic to assist them in better understanding their disease. It’s like the Michigan Alcoholism Screen Test meets Jeff Foxworthy.

1) If Muscle and Fitness or Men’s Fitness or any of those other homoerotic publications have asked you to be their cover boy, you might be a roidball.

2) If your nickname is “The Muscle Shark,” “The Specimen,” or “Cyborg,” you might be a roidball.

3) If you are a white guy with the musculature of a black guy, you might be a roidball.

4) If you are a Brazilian gal with the musculature of a 1980’s East German Olympic swimmer, you might be a roidball.

5) If you are a 35 to 45-year-old former American collegiate wrestler with the musculature of an 18-year-old, you might be a roidball.

6) If you have been busted before, you might be a roidball.

7) If you were a pro-wrestler, competed in Japan, or competed as a pro-wrestler in Japan, you might be a roidball.

8) If you have bitch tits, you might be a roidball.

9) If you tweak your nipples before fights so as to avoid looking like you have bitch tits, you might be a roidball.

10) If your career took a dive and never recovered after steroid testing was introduced, you might be a roidball.

11) If you are the kind of scumbag who engaged in money laundering and mortgage fraud and then snitched on your co-conspirators to get a lighter sentence, you might be a roidball.

12) If Dana White threatened to banish you from the UFC forever only to allow you to compete again when your marketability increased, you might be a roidball.

(Matthew Polly is a scholar, a gentleman, and a regular contributor to – which of those doesn’t belong with the others? His last book, American Shaolin, detailed his time living with monks in China and training kung fu. His new book coming out this fall will be about living in Vegas and trane-ing UFC. While Vegas wins in the fake boobs department, I hear the snake booze in China was better.)

  • G Funk

    pretty good ‘cept #5. At 18 you still haven’t reached your peak muscle wise unless… you’re a roid ball.

  • Letibleu

    13) If you piss something that resembles more the constitution of apple juice than urine, you might be a roidball.

    14) If your able to put on ‘48 pounds of whoop ass‘, you might be a roidball.

    15) If you have the body of a God, and that God happens to be Buddah, your probably safe.

    16) If your name pops up on a crooked pharmicist’s Christmas card mailing list, you are probably a roidball.

  • glassjawsh

    i scored a 6 on my alcoholic test. (actually much better than i thought i would)

  • Redping

    i never got why everyone accuses overeem of roids so much, when frank mir miraculously gained 40 pounds out of nowhere to fight kongo in an attempt to become more like his then-love brock lesnar. where did that shit come from, there’s not that much protein in semen

  • CAP

    I found it odd nobody said shit about Mir’s quick bulk gain as well yet Reem took a while to get all beefcake. Mir may eat A LOT of semen though.

  • Letibleu

    Mir said it was “water” weight. Nobody comes out and says “fuck yeah, I did Malingeropharmacolexicography and now I’m bigger better faster but don’t worry, I did it within the rules so that I don’t piss hot the day of the fight”.

    Like online poker players. Always the site that’s rigged or the other players that don’t know how to play that causes them to lose.

  • P W

    17) If you in a matter of a few weeks following a major life crisis still manage to transform your physique from semi-flabby to six-pack, and totally shock everyone in doing so, you obviously are a roidball. Don’t worry though, even if your behavior means turning an already ridiculous main event into even more of a farce, and you end up losing the fight, you will get away with a slap on the wrist from Dana, keeping most of your purse, only sitting out a few more months than you normally would following a fight, and get an immense push after your return. Expect to turn into a fan favorite who will hang around forever.

  • P W

    “Mir said it was “water” weight. Nobody comes out and says “fuck yeah, I did Malingeropharmacolexicography and now I’m bigger better faster but don’t worry, I did it within the rules so that I don’t piss hot the day of the fight”.”

    Actually, Lebens “excuse” after getting caught cheating was that he thought the roids would be out of his system by the time he had to take the test. In other words, he didn’t apologized for cheating, but for not being better at cheating.

    Dana White – who is a great fan of roids as long as no one is stupid enough to get caught taking them, making his organization look bad – rewarded this valuable piece of insight from Leben by publicly praising him and letting him off with virtually no repercussions.

  • CAP

    Ironically enough Chael is now no longer under suspension and can reapply for his license.

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    And afterward Leben said he wanted to talk to kids about PEDs.  I wonder if he told them not to do them or not to get caught doing them.

  • Mixed Martial Adam

    @PW Leben WAS suspended by the UFC and lost several sponsors, as well as being relegated to the under-card in his next fight. How can you call that no repercussions? The reason he wasn’t dragged through the mud more is because he manned up and admitted it rather than lying, making excuses, hiding it or saying nothing at all (i.e. Sonnen, Sherk, T.Silva, Carwin).

    Leben didn’t have an excuse for his usage, he had a reason – he wanted to see if it would help his performance and did it several months out from the fight (which seems like a fair response to me as that’s what everyone else is doing). He had an honest answer to everything he was accused of and he was one of the only MMA athletes to take his lump on the chin, admit he was guilty and move forward.

    As for your statement that Leben didn’t apologize for cheating get your fucking facts straight. From mma weekly November 3rd, 2008:

    “Of course this is a hard hit for me monetarily, but more so this is embarrassing for me and for all of my fans. I apologize to the UFC and everyone who supported me in my fight in England. I hope to work through this and get back to fighting soon”

    Leben wasn’t publicly praised by White, he was punished by White. For the record THE UFC WERE THE ONES THAT BUSTED HIM, NOT AN ATHLETIC COMMISSION. If Dana White really wanted to praise Leben he wouldn’t let the results of the drug test go public. He exposed Leben and Leben was a man about it, which is more than you can say about half the fighters out there. We didn’t have to wait 72 hours to find out his side of the story on a radio show, did we?

  • Mixed Martial Adam

    well that’s the whole point, isn’t it? Steroids are only bad if you’re bad at doing them. Do you honestly believe that GSP isn’t using steroids in training when the potential benefits are so great? GSP does literally everything else to give him an edge, it seems silly not to take advantage of a miracle drug that helps you train harder with very little downside (as long as it’s good stuff and used in small doses).

    It’s clear that everyone (‘cept BJ) is doing steroids. If Leben was doing the right steroids (high end, expensive, medical grade) he wouldn’t have been caught as they would have been out of his system by test time. As gifted as some of the athletes in the sport are, it is hard to believe that they don’t take steroids when the benefits are so overwhelming and the testing is so lax. Fighters aren’t taking them to fight, they’re taking them to train. Therefore unless the fighter is taking junk or doing them too regularly, they will be out of his/her system by the time they have to piss in a cup. Fight camps must have this process down to an exact science by now!

    I’m not sad about fighters using PEDs, I’m only sad that certain fighters are martyred when they’re being used by just about everyone.

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    I don’t think they should be used because of the A) increased ability to do damage to your opponents brain , thus violating the Gentleman’s Agreement and B) it would force anyone who competes to do them simply to be on a level biological playing field.  Shit, even Nate’s trainer Whittman thinks they’re bullshit.

    This does not mean I think they should be illegal, just that they should not be part of this sport if it wants to be considered something that cares about the well-being of the combatants (not talking about their nads, here) or has any honor.   I would also be totally down for ROIDS FC, where it is expected and encouraged to use them, as that would be a different Gentleman’s Agreement where all practitioners were willing to use.

  • frickshun

    I don’t like Dr. Benji when he offers his wonderful “opinions” on stuff….& junk. But his write-up about TRT seemed somewhat rooted in medical science. What say you, O venomous Jackals?

  • matthewpolly

    Excellent point DJ. We don’t want guys getting so strong that fighters regulary end up in comas. That’s a good way to get the sport banned. The same way football with its massive, fast tacklers is in deep shit over brain damage.

    I’m curious though: You never really hear about roids as an issue with boxers. Not that boxers don’t cheat plenty, but usually throwing fights not PEDS. It’s more of a wrestling issue. Anyone know why that is?

  • CAP

    By wrestling issue I assume you mean pro rasslin. Their schedules are pretty rigorous on the road 300+ days out of the year. That’s the excuse I’ve always heard.

    lol at ROIDS FC!

    Thanks for the link frick

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    Yeah, fuck Frick.  You think anyone here reads Doc Benny or wants to google him so he gets ranking?

    Polly-O: I think most people put boxers out of mind due to dementia pugilistica, much like they put homeless people out of their minds.  At that point, you assume there’s drug or alcohol abuse anyway and they’re beyond help.

    CAP:  Wrestling is also a size issue.  They’re trying to be super-heroes and Vince has a big muskull fetish.  Ever seen a pic of the guy?  Complete corporate juicebag.

  • frickshun
  • P W

    “@PW Leben WAS suspended by the UFC and lost several sponsors, as well as being relegated to the under-card in his next fight. How can you call that no repercussions.”

    I never called it that. I said “VIRTUALLY no” repercussions (and before that “a slap on the wrist”), which means “SOME repercussions”. You show up to a main event so fucking obviously roided up it’s embarrasing for everyone to see, and you get away with sitting out maybe 5 months longer than normal after which your career resumes as if nothing ever happend, AND you get to keep 2/3 of your paycheck. That’s not much of a deterrant against using steroids now, is it?


    “As for your statement that Leben didn’t apologize for cheating get your fucking facts straight. From mma weekly November 3rd, 2008″

    Sorry if I made it seem like I’ve read every single fucking statement he made for every single fucking news outlet in existanse following the event. I’m sure he’s said a lot of things. However, the quote you picked is more of a general apology for all the fuzz he created by getting caught, not explicitly about being a cheater.


    “Leben wasn’t publicly praised by White ..:”

    Dana gave him pretty much the same praise you just did about manning up (which I do not think makes the violation any less serious. Appearing unwilling/reluctant to admit that cheating is wrong though does), with added sprinkels of totally uncalled for “has made great strides getting his life back on track”, which one can only interpret as “if you are gonna do roids, make sure you’re a drunken criminal first, so it doesn’t look that bad in comparison, and it makes it easier for us to feel compassion for you!”

  • P W

    “They’re trying to be super-heroes and Vince has a big muskull fetish.”

    And BLAF doesn’t?!

  • matthewpolly

    No I didn’t pro rasslin–that’s obviously for entertainment purposes. It’s a big deal in amateur wrestling. Randy Couture brought it up in his memoir. I think the difference is the need for strength in wrestling vs the need for speed in striking.

  • TremblingEagle

    I really enjoy when Polly is writing, some good funny bits here.

  • Redping

    P W that was the longest ‘oh ok i’m a douche and what I said was pretty incorrect’ i’ve ever heard, good work on trying to come across like you weren’t just eating a bowl full of your own shit.

    Roids is on your reputation FOREVER and that sticks. I’ll probably never think Carwin is naturally strong because of that guy who named him in a steroids bust and his awkward ‘uhhhhhhh no comment’ line to Ariel about it. That’s a pretty big blow considering how many other people feel the same.

    When Bas Rutten was on the Joe Rogan podcast, he was talking about the use of steroids in MMA, and he said that he was ‘never scared’ of it, and that if he knew his opponent were on roids he wouldn’t care, because it implied that they were insecure about their abilities in the first place enough to take roids.

    Technique still beats roids gentleman, it’s just hard with the current rules and a 5 minute time limit. Marcelo Garcia has a great quote on this after a post-victory speech, but I just spent 10 minutes looking for it and couldn’t find it so fuck you guys, you aren’t worth it.

  • Redping

    ok I found it and it wasn’t even Marcelo, it was Caio Terra.

  • P W

    “P W that was the longest ‘oh ok i’m a douche and what I said was pretty incorrect’ i’ve ever heard”

    Really? I saw it as “what I said was pretty much spot-on and nothing you found could refute that”.

    I’m definitly being a douche, a scumbag and a jackal though, but that’s what Fightlinker is for now, isn’t it?

  • frickshun

    Redping–>I don’t believe steroids is about performance as much as it is about pushing the limits of the body to get through these grueling training sessions where joints sprain, muscles tear & ligaments are stretched.

    Yes, some guys seem to take it looking for an edge in regard to what I perceive you’re implying is strength gains. But mostly, when the ADMIT IT, it seems to be more about recovery (or weight cutting).

    And I understand the 2 are related. But still not the same (like blacks & Mexicans).

  • matthewpolly

    If you can’t get through a training camp without using steroids you are either overtraining or in the wrong profession. It would be like Madoff saying, “I just couldn’t get those consistent 10% returns without my Ponzi scheme.”

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    I thought you were an athlete, but it sounds like Subonic logic coming through here.

    And I understand the 2 are related. But still not the same

    The exercise is where you damage the muscle, the healing is where it grows back stronger.  Is there something I’m missing here? 

  • frickshun

    DJ–>I now understand that you’ve never physically pushed yourself hard.

    Polly–>What do guys do when they only get a few paydays a year & a training injury compromises it? I’ve sprained shit or stepped on a nail & got sidelined… freak accidents. The difference is that I don’t lose a big paycheck!!

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    I used to do strength training and street skating.  Neither are as tough as a volleyball cardio-wise, but I notice you didn’t actually provide any info there.  Ad hominems are great, but sad from one of the few currently active athletes who could actually contribute something to the discussion other than “I coulda been a contenda!  Yur all faddies!”

    Being able to survive grueling workouts and come back for your next faster as well as injury is the essence of of what we’re talking about with TRT, correct?

  • matthewpolly

    frickshun–> I am more than sympathetic to professional MMA fighters who only get a few paydays per year. As a book author I only get a few big paydays once every several years. And for my current project I had to be healthy enough for my first (and last) MMA fight, which I spent two years training for. If I had been injured, I would not have been paid and I would have been bankrupt. So I have felt the fear, anxiety, and desperation. However, if I had been injured I would not have used HRT, because I like the size of my balls. Also, it is cheating. Granted there is a loophole in the rules, but it is cheating. Everyone knows this, even Nate, which is partly why he was so apologetic.

    Also, let’s face it, the reason his testosterone level was low is almost certainly because he abused steroids in the past. His body’s T-count was suffering from withdrawal, not the slow decline of aging. HRT was methadone for a former heroine addict. He is not the only one in MMA, just the most recent guy to get caught. While I feel bad that Dana is making an example of him, an example needs to be made if the sport we love is to maintain any mainstream credibility.