At 27-years-of-age, Jose Aldo is the young, healthy, vibrant, six time defending champion of the UFC’s featherweight division. If fans count his prior WEC (Zuffa) title defenses, he is an eight time defending champion. With a professional record of 24 – 1and ranked No. 2 on the Pound-for-Pound best fighters list, “Scarface” is a mixed martial artist that has more than proven his ability to dominate an opponent in the Octagon.
To the point, Aldo is an exceptionally talented athlete that, to the best of anyone’s knowledge and minus any rumors, innuendos or failed drug tests to prove otherwise, has always fought ‘clean’ or minus any performance enhancing drugs (PEDs’). Rather, Aldo’s reputation is that of a fighter who demolishes his opponents with viscous leg kicks and knees, sans any need of chemical enhancement to accomplish the task.
With that as a backdrop, Aldo made, what might be considered to be an odd comment in interview yesterday (July 31, 2014), as the champion told Tatame.com.br that he has “no problem” with fighters that use TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) or “other drugs.” As “Scarface” sees it, those who have an issue with such things are just a “bunch of pussies.”
“I see no problem (with TRT usage). A lot of people use something and hide, then they criticize people who admittedly use. I think these are a bunch of pussies trying to find an excuse, fearing to lose fights against who’s doing a good job. At one point you have an age that makes it necessary and I see no problem with TRT. I would fight who is doing TRT, who isn’t, or who is using other drugs. It doesn’t matter to me anyway. The same punch I’ll throw in one of these guys, I’ll throw in another of them. If it’s allowed or not, I don’t care because I’ll still train and fight as I’m doing right now.”
Regarding Aldo’s remarks, they are apt to stir some debate.
On the one hand, many fans want PEDs gone and see their use as blatant cheating. On the other hand, there are fans – a smaller number to be sure – that care little about such things, and believe that talent and skill will always rule the day in a fight. In short, that a fighter cannot inject his way to the top. Regarding the two positions, Jose Aldo would apparently adhere to the latter view.
Indeed, Aldo’s comments echo, at least in sentiment, those of middleweight champion Chris Weidman’s striking coach, Ray Longo. Just yesterday (July 31, 2014), Longo remarked that Weidman would beat (former sanctioned TRT user) Vitor Belfort “on or off steroids.”
However, in considering the two cases, Aldo’s position is an unqualified one, where Longo’s is not. Since the dawn of Weidman vs. Belfort (UFC 181) Longo & company have been calling for Belfort’s (drug) testing and referencing the Brazilian as a “cheat” – fair enough. However, this is Weidman’s camp trying to have their cake and eat it too. If they truly do not care about Belfort’s TRT use, then why insist on testing? Then why should they care if the fight is in Las Vegas or Rio de Janeiro?
If, as Ray Longo stated, Weidman wants to face the “best Belfort there is,” then the truth of the matter is that he should probably face a TRT enhanced Belfort and not a TRT-free “Phenom.” More to the point, if Weidman’s camp really does not care about Belfort being “on or off” PEDs’, then they should stop worrying about making the fight “fair.” However, what they should not do is attempt to straddle the fence on the issue.
Photo courtesy of Jose Aldo