On the heels of multiple failed drug tests in a short period of time, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will implement new and improved drug screening moving forward in an attempt to clean up the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA).
Unfortunately, the new procedures won't kick into effect until July 1, 2015 (details).
Until then, Luke Rockhold will continue to push for additional testing ahead of his bout against Lyoto Machida, which goes down at UFC on FOX 15 on April 18, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. And it's not because he thinks "The Dragon" is a cheater, but his camp, Black House MMA, doesn't have the best track record when it comes to getting popped for performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs).
"I'm not a fan of (cheating), and I definitely am pushing for more drug testing, more random blood testing and whatnot. Especially (within the) Black House camp. There's been (three or four guys from that camp who have been caught cheating) and (Lyoto) Machida is a Black House guy."
UFC veterans and Team Black House members, Brian Ortega and Kevin Casey, failed their drug tests for their fights at UFC on FOX 12 and UFC 175, respectively.
Perhaps what really gave the famed camp a black eye was when its top dog, Anderson Silva, was popped for steroids and anti-anxiety medication for his fight against Nick Diaz at UFC 183. Still, Luke doesn't believe Machida has caved in to the temptations of PED use like some of his training partners have, but it's better to be safe than sorry, which is why extra testing won't hurt.
"I think he's a clean fighter, but I'm definitely pushing (for more testing). I want a clean sport, like baseball. We need to get on their level. Let's start cleaning things up a little bit here."
As for Luke, he insists he's never dabbled with PEDs and never intends to. He also recalls plenty of times when he was offered some, but chose to stay straight.
"I couldn't live with myself, to tell you the truth. It would just never happen. I'm a true competitor. It's funny. I got injured and I was out for about 19 months. I had a bad shoulder injury I kept re-injuring, and people started getting into my ear trying to tell me I could recover faster and get back in. I just kept blocking them off. Just random people stopping in and out of training camps and stuff like that. There's always a couple bad seeds that pop in. But luckily, I have such a great training camp. We have the cleanest, strongest camp. We push out the bad seeds. We want to keep our camp clean."
Rockhold will look for his fourth straight win against the former UFC light heavyweight champion and should he prove successful, the ex-Strikeforce middleweight kingpin could set himself up nicely for his first shot at UFC gold.
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