Wrestling legend among the legends Dan Gable famously won the 1972 Olympics without a single point scored against him. This was at the height of Soviet doping. But Gable thought that doping helped him.
“If I knew I was going to wrestle in the finals of the Olympics against a Russian and I knew he had been training specifically to beat me, but then I knew the guy was on steroids, that would HELP me,” said Gable to Sam Sheridan, in ‘A Fighters Mind.’ “Whereas some might think ‘oh he’s cheating,’ for me you didn’t pay the price. You’re not as committed as I am. It’ll tear him apart. He may be strong, but all I have to do during that nine minutes of wrestling is loosen one single wire in his brain, make him do something that isn’t perfect, and he’ll fall apart.”
UFC heavyweight Derrick ‘The Black Beast’ Lewis appeared recently on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, and in his own way, he offered a similar sentiment. The conversation started with the test failure of former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar.
“It was no surprise,” said Lewis, as transcribed by Chuck Mindenhall for MMA Fighting. “It was like Nate Diaz says, there was no surprise about it. Come on man. Look at the guy. Everyone knows he’s juicing. But, that don’t affect me at all. I’ll fight anyone. I’m ready.”
“For sure I’ll fight him. When I was fighting in the lower league, I was fighting a lot of guys that was on juice. It doesn’t matter. That don’t help you fight any better, to me. I’ll still be eating fried chicken and McDonalds before my fight, and I feel fine.”
“It literally don’t affect me. I don’t care. The sport itself is dangerous. Anything can happen. So if you want to juice, go ahead and juice up. It’s just going to make you more depressed afterwards.”
Lewis is on a four-fight win streak in the notoriously streak resistant UFC heavyweight division, where no champion has ever defended his title successfully twice. With one or two more wins, Lewis should get a title shot.
His dream scenario is a fight with Alistair Overeem sometime next year, for what he believes will be Overeem’s belt after the Dutch fighter beats current champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 203 on September 10, 2016 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
“I think he’s going to beat Stipe,” said Lewis. “If Overeem can stay clean…I know he’s tempted right now to take them steroids, I know he’s tempted…but if I can stay clean I’d say we can get at it by next year.”
Lewis was asked what percentage of heavyweights he believes use PEDs.
“Probably 70 percent,” he said.
“It doesn’t piss me off at all. It’s just stupid for them to do that because they know that they’re getting random drug tests. They’re willing to risk thousands of dollars for something so stupid like that, that’s not even going to help them.”