The mixed martial arts (MMA) world -- Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in particular -- is still reeling after a terrible start to the New Year that saw four stars fail pre- and post-fight drug tests, including light heavyweight champion Jon Jones testing positive for cocaine prior to his title fight against Daniel Cormier at UFC 182 on Jan. 3, 2015.
Also, Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz both failed their UFC 183 drug tests, while Hector Lombard piled on to the bad news as he was flagged for steroids following his victory over Josh Burkman, which also went down at UFC 182.
While some see the string of failed drug tests as a sign of an "epidemic" in the sport, there are still plenty of clean fighters out there staying true to the fight game. Among them are Urijah Faber and Frankie Edgar, two seasoned fighters who have never failed a drug test.
During their joint (no pun intended) appearance on The MMA Hour "The California Kid" and "The Answer" touched on the issue, as Faber says he is now skeptical of everyone after giving most the benefit of the doubt in the past. Edgar, meanwhile, says he'll beat your regardless if you're on performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) or not.
Faber's take (via MMA Fighting):
"I can speak for myself only on this front, but I've never done any PEDs, nor would I think of ever doing any. I'm 35 years old. Two days before this fight, I'll be turning 36. This will be my 40th fight in the sport and I've never touched a drug or even thought about it, and I've given most people the benefit of the doubt until recently. Now I'm, like, skeptical about everyone. So I can speak for myself and say I'm representing the sport the way I think it should be, and that's clean."
Edgar shares his thoughts:
"I think it's unfortunate, I kinda got a little different take. I'm not one to take them, I'm definitely clean myself. But I say take them. You want to let them? Take them. I don't care. I think I'll beat them anyway. That's how I feel. I mean, I'm kinda saying that in the air. It would be a better sport if it was clean, obviously. It doesn't seem like it's happening though. So if the statistics are true, I've probably fought someone on PEDs already, and I'm still here, I'm still doing okay. So I think those PEDs ain't going to help you in the fourth and fifth."
Maybe Wednesday's news about the future of drug testing will help cheer them up.
Faber and Edgar are scheduled to meet in the center of the Octagon in a five-round featherweight bout when the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion touches down in the Philippines for the first time to stage an event in the city of Manila on May 16, 2015.
Not only will it mark the realization of and often-dreamed about fight, but it will see two of the purest athletes to ever step inside the Octagon going toe-to-toe. A somewhat breath of fresh air after the stench of steroid, cocaine and marijuana abuse clouded the MMA scene.