Heavyweight knockout artist, and The Ultimate Fighter winner Roy “Big Country” Nelson is set to take on Josh Barnett in the main event of this Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 75, but he recently spoke up regarding drug testing in the sport.
Over the years, Nelson has been one of the biggest advocates for stronger testing, and even though the UFC has paired with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in efforts to clean up the sport, “Big Country” hasn’t seen any improvements:
“On the testing thing with PED’s, I think we are still in the same spot as we were before,” Nelson told FOX Sports. “We’re talking about it more but I think we’re in the same boat as we were before. I think it’s like the war on drugs, but they’re still being flown in.”
Continuing on, Nelson also talked about how easy it is to get away with using drugs in the sport, noting that with a doctor’s note everything is “OK”, taking a shot at former light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones who tested positive for Cocaine last January while receiving a rather light punishment:
“For me it doesn’t matter. I’m not in the drug-testing business and I’m not an employee so I’m not worried about what guys are doing anyways,” Nelson said. “You can do cocaine and still be OK. Jon Jones did that before.
“You could be like ‘I have an exemption and a doctor’s note that says it’s OK’ and as long as you put that out there it’s OK. As long as you put it out there like ‘Hey, I’m taking this because the doc says it’s cool,’ you can still take it and pass the USADA test, so it’s still cool.”
Ironically enough, Barnett has had issues regarding performance-enhancing-drugs (PEDs) in the past, but Nelson isn’t worried, claiming that he has gone into fights before knowing his opponent has been using a banned substance:
“You just kind of go with the flow. Drugs are bad,” Nelson said. “That’s what I’m going with now. That’s what they say to say now, so that’s what I’m going with. Before it was ‘drugs, just don’t talk about them’ so I’m just going with the flow.”
“I’ve gone in fights where I know the guy is on stuff so it doesn’t really matter anyways. It’s just one of those things. As long as the fans know what kind of a person this is, that’s all that matters.”
Nelson admits that Barnett is a guy he wouldn’t like to hang out with, but at the end of the day, all “Big Country” cares about is putting on exciting fights, and in that regard, he knows that Barnett will come to finish:
“Josh has accomplished quite a bit and with pro wrestling stuff,” Nelson said. “You can’t hate him for that. I don’t really know him, but the interactions I had with him it wasn’t like I wanted to hang out with him at all, so it is what it is.
“Fans just like exciting fights. Win, lose or draw, you’ve just got to go out there and fight and put on a show. That’s the thing I know I always do. It always takes two people to tango and Josh is somebody who goes out and tries to finish, too, so when you pair two people like that up it makes for an exciting fight. Old-school guys just try to go out and finish fights and that’s what makes it exciting. That’s the biggest thing as long as you try to go out and finish.”
Has the UFC’s drug testing program improved at all?