Former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre continues his crusade towards stricter drug testing in MMA (mixed martial arts), more than 18 months removed from vacating his long-held title. The French Canadian sports hero left the UFC and his strap following a controversial split decision win over Johny Hendricks. Since admitting that he should’ve called it quits one bout before, fans of ‘Rush’ may have to start coming to terms with the fact his fighting days could well be over. There are still plenty of battles on the horizon for GSP, and his latest hangnail is IV (intravenous) rehydration in MMA.
The partenership between the UFC and USADA (US anti doping agency) has promised stricter testing in the sport, and the recent ruling for lengthier bans for cheaters has provided another interesting twist in the tale. The USADA folks really made a splash when the called for a cease in IV rehydration, meaning fighters probably won’t be able to safely cut as much weight, effective as of October 1st, 2015. Jose Aldo said he will still do it anyway, but GSP tells GNPTV, quotes by MMAFighting, that he agrees:
“I believe it’s a good thing, to tell you the truth”, St-Pierre told GNPTV. “If it’s not your division, stay to your own division.”
“You see guys that lose an incredible amount of weight. For my part I used to weigh around 190. I lose 20 pounds, which is relatively small right now for a welterweight. Most guys are over 200 pounds and I always find it fascinating.”
Aldo’s team mate Renan Barao will likely be forced to move up in weight, or keep any IV rehydration under close wraps if he wants to stay at 135 pounds. It’s become common practice for fighters to use the rehydration method, and one question that remains is how will commissions enforce this ruling?
“Now it’s not only a question of who’s better and who’s more well prepared, it’s also a question of technology,” said St-Pierre. “The more you allow technology to play out on the result of a sporting event the more you take away the real talent, the real skill question. That’s why I believe it’s a good thing. I think it should be illegal.
“It’s a new rule. Everybody would have to adapt, but I think everybody can adapt if they do it well. And also, the IV thing, the reason why I think it should be banned is because sometimes IVs could be used to mask certain performance-enhancing drugs. It’s good. I think it’s a good thing.”
That’s an interesting take, and one we haven’t really heard before now. St-Pierre also goes on to describe the impact on the current weight rankings system, and that he has in fact used IV hydration in the past:
“I don’t know if they are ready for this,” said St-Pierre. “It will make more belts. I know on the business standpoint it’s a good thing to do. But for me, fighting at 170, for my body, I wouldn’t mind not using the IV. I wouldn’t mind. It wouldn’t change anything.”
“I already did before, most people did,” St-Pierre said of IV use.. “IV is a salty solution. It’s used in American football by many athletes, but if it’s banned, it’s banned. You can’t be against the virtue. I think it’s a good move. Yes it is.”
So that’s that, GSP is still absent, with no timescale for a return, and continues to endeavour to make the UFC and sport of MMA a cleaner place to fight….