Firas Zahabi Responds To Testing Criticisms: GSP Wants To Do Both VADA...

Firas Zahabi Responds To Testing Criticisms: GSP Wants To Do Both VADA & WADA


In response to allegations of gamesmanship by Johny Hendricks, regarding GSP’s stance on drug testing prior to the duos November 16th title fight, St. Pierre’s long-time coach and trainer Firas Zahabi, has taken to Twitter to set the record straight.

As it all started out a couple of months back, the welterweight champion made a request of his UFC 167 opponent that the two would submit to voluntary drug testing, in the lead-up to their bout. The testing body of choice that GSP suggested was that of VADA, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency and Rush even offered to pay for it; a fee that can run as high as 20K.

Hendricks seemed prepared to go along with the idea, however, before any testing began it came to his attention that Rush has a business relationship with VADA, something Hendricks referred to as “close” and he subsequently backed-off the proposal.

In its place, “Bigg Rigg” suggested using the NSAC & UFC approved WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency, as the body of choice for the testing.

Hendricks’s stated reason for preferring WADA “100%”over VADA was / is partly due to the fact that GSP said he’d be paying for the testing out of his own pocket, when in actuality, it appears that Rush was going to be getting the testing for free.

However and in an effort to set the record straight, Zahabi is now stating or clarifying GSP’s position on the matter and is calling for both the WADA and VADA tests, to be administered. He also stated that Rush does not have a close relationship with VADA, however, that’s short of saying there’s no relationship, which by default, becomes the understanding; that there is a relationship. Further, Zahabi Tweets failed to address the nexus issue of GSP’s non-disclosure of any free testing he has been offered or given; if indeed, there actually was any free testing offered or given.  

For my part, I don’t believe either is on any performance enhancing drugs or that either is going to fail any tests for it. If I had any criticisms of this whole venture, they would be as follows:

First, Rush was foolish for going down this road in the first place and his call for voluntary drug testing of all fighters, beginning with himself and this match, seems to be more about increasing VADA’s business than anything else. If that were to prove to be the case, that GSP had some backroom deal by which he is being paid to promote testing, then he should be / have been upfront about it. It would also explain why the champ is so keen on VADA and although willing to submit to WADA testing as well, still wants the VADA testing done, too.

Second, in terms of what Hendricks is suggesting, which is a conspiracy between GSP and VADA to somehow throw the fight in Rush’s favor, I find that very tough to believe. The logic of it fails on too many levels as to be taken seriously.   

As Bigg Rigg put it on Monday’s edition of the “MMA Hour:

“I’m not willing to say, you know what GSP, you might be correct, they may not be shady, they might do it 100 percent correct, but you’re talking about, I beat GSP that’s millions of dollars. If I do this drug test, and they do something to where I don’t get it, now it might cost me millions of dollars, I’m not willing to risk that for GSP just to sit here and push VADA.”

To me, that sounds like a lot of paranoia and something that flies in the face of his contention, that “I know I’m clean. I can pass any drug test given to me at any point at any time… I know I’m never going to fail a drug test.”

If that’s the case and its St. Pierre’s assertion as well, then there should be no problem with either fighter taking either test, and this whole debacle is nothing more than a tempest-in-a-teapot and a distraction from the real issue at hand, which is simply fighting.





Follow on
The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line. Whether or not you think you can or you can't, you are right. Fast / Good / Cheap...pick 2. Better an honest word to the ear, than a stiff punch to the jaw; ego kills. A hall passed through with the doors open, is a...?
  • Bruce Lee

    Boom! GSP's PR KO's Hendrick's PR.

    • Brian Cox


    • falcon4917

      I would say he's up 2 rounds to 1 and is likely to get the decision from

  • SatelliteMan

    Can't really blame Big Rigg for being paranoid of GSP. GSP, while apparently a pretty stand-up kind of guy, has also shown he is an extremely clever and tricky mofo. Rewatch TUF where he pulls one over on Koscheck, Sun Tsu style. If GSP was my opponent, I too would question his real intentions. Overall GSP is a good guy, but he has shown some cracks in his good guy personality.

    • N.C.

      Yes i can blame him. Now im wondering, if GSP is willing to do ANY testing, will big rigs still do it?

      • SatelliteMan

        They're both clean stop being so paranoid

    • Brian Cox

      I remember all that stuff on TUF. GSP came across as the greatest tactician in that show. The time he scammed Kos on the selections was priceless. He's a smart man.

  • falcon4917

    To me GSP is likely clean if he's willing to do both and Hendricks just seems paranoid but in reality guys with lots of money have a much better chance of finding a way to abuse than guys with little. If the conversations that Hendricks said happened have happened and GSP's camp were asking questions about what sorts of things are being tested for and how they might have done their research and figured out a way to pass those tests too. Hendricks also on the other hand may have a plan in place for one set of tests and not another and might not have financial abilities to pass both for all we I have seen many fighters have low points in their careers that really can't be explained away. GSP has the tarnish to his credibility of honesty with all the former greasing issues earlier in his UFC career along with Anderson more recently who rubbed the stuff on his shoulders too. I think the best thing that could happen is random tests by random companies that are certified so nobody can be ready for them.

    • N.C.

      Everybody who played sports will find some kind of advantage. Like in high school football, there were teams who would spray their uniforms with oven spray so you couldn't get a grip on their jerseys and make them slippery.

      As for "greasing" you dont need to put it on before a fight. wrestlers learned that if you put lotion on your skin weeks and weeks and weeks in advance, your skin holds much more oil then normal, so when you start sweating you get much more slippery.

      Do you remember the Condit Hardy KO? the difference between hardy getting ko'd and ko'ing condit was literally 1/10th of a second the time it takes to blink was the time between Condit landing his punch and hardy's fist being 4 inches away from condits jaw.

      Athletes in sports where top guys make 10x as much as the lower guys and the difference is literally 1/10th of a second, everybody will do everything possible to gain that small advantage.

      I know all tests are different and certain things that are banned in some aren't in others and that includes suppliments. Which aren't illegal but are banned in some tests. GSP i think is clean. You never hear other strong ww's complain about GSP's strength. Only the lazy ones like BJ penn who is lazy as a bear when it comes to training.

      Hendricks on the other hand im wondering about… if all he's eating is organic deer meat. Whats the problem? unless deer meat is the "new horse meat" that Reem loved to eat when he was still winning before he was tested regularly in the UFC.

      • falcon4917

        Yes you're right it is hard to stop cheating but if the right scenarios were put in place they could make it very, very difficult and certainly stop a large portion of it. I also do not presume GSP to be using TRT but if he was discovered to be using it would not be a total shock. I would find a guy like Urijah Faber one of the least likely to be on TRT just by the way he takes life and it's ups and downs. He doesn't get too serious about fights if he wins or loses and generally seems like a guy with no worries. Sure he has a fire under him to get his job done but he is very light hearted and carefree. Same goes for Condit, Shogun,Roy Nelson, Pettis,Edgar,Junior,Franklin, Benson and Diaz brothers. I just couldn't see guys like them cheating as it seems they have a real code of conduct that wether they could or not they wouldn't and then brag about the fact they don't use. Greg Jackson does not make me feel like he is the best of losers after seeing more of him. He and others seem like the stay quite and put on a front kind of guys and he seems like he'll do anything to win based on his personality that he can get away with.

        • Brian Cox

          Falcon, I'll say one thing about Jackson, having watched Fight Master, he's a heck of a corner man. He never stops shouting out instructions, observations and encouragement to his fighters, during a round.

          He's brilliant at it.

          Pint of Guinness, to you.

  • odesahitman

    Control the headline and you essentially control the content/ conversation.

    GSP & Team are distracting Hendricks & Team.

    In a camp leading upto a fight the type of talk GSP has set off is distracting, negative and drains the energy of all whose livelihood and success relies on Hendricks… Their personal and emotional reaction will no doubt affect Hendricks.

    In essence, if Hendricks is the head, and his team are the body, the team/ body are being drawn into an unnecessary defense due to verbal feints… prolonged tension in the body tires the mind… meaning the less the Hendricks team are focused, the worse preparation for their fighter.

    If asked after the fight, was this worth focusing on in any way shape or form the answer would be no. The focus of the team should be on, what are we going to do, how, when etc…. This talk is nonsense and should be met with silence.

    Tip to Hendricks, promote your fights after winning the title… at this moment in time focus should be on winning not responding.

    • Brian Cox

      Very thoughtful, Odesa. That's and interesting take and analytic. GSP is a smart guy and has evidenced gamesmanship before, but what you suggest is on a whole other level, who's to say that you are wrong.

      Either way and as you point out, GSP is leading the conversation on this issue and having a "second" answer for himself, where a "third-party" speaks for GSP. As you muse, energy flows from Hendricks to GSP on this issue.

      True or not, you have an interesting take and raise some salient questions.

  • phildocta

    blah blah blah, someone in his camp or close to him is always trying to make excuses for him and speak for him, if he's not sick during a fight, he pulled something during a fight, sick of his excuses for everything and not speaking for himself, and especially his excuses for not finishing fights when he blatently isnt trying to.

  • DeeJaySlyTee

    I am ready to eat some KABOB!!!