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The world’s best MMA organization, the UFC, has expanded with the introduction of doping control by the United States Doping Agency. Many fighters who were at the top at the time and seemed invincible, turned out not to be “clean” and violated the law of regularity. Many fighters since the arrival of USADA are no longer even close to the form that once adorned them.
Here is a list of the TOP 5 fighters who are definitely no longer the same since falling on the test and the arrival of USADA and its testing program:
5. Alistair Overeem
Alistair Overeem is a fighter whose performance has not declined since the arrival of USADA, but definitely his work is not the same since then and he wasn’t as good as when he fought in Pride.
At the time he was performing for Pride, Overeem had terrifying physiques that just didn’t seem realistic. Huge muscle mass and a “superhero” look adorned the Dutchman.
Overeem currently does not look like what he was in his “youth”. The fact is that he is Dutch in the fifth decade of his life, but you can definitely see the difference.
Alistair is in great shape and his performance has never been questioned. He is currently experiencing a “martial youth” and seems more mature and ready than in previous years. If he fails to win the UFC title, he will be remembered as one of the best fighters who did not win the UFC title.
4. Johny Hendricks
Johny Hendricks is also one of the fighters who have been unrecognizable since the arrival of USADA.
Once a fighter who was an extremely dominant member of the welterweight category who was even close to defeating the legendary GSP in a very close match. Even today his wars with Georges St-Pierre and Robbie Lawler are remembered.
After Hendricks’ great victory over Matt Brown comes the period of “post-USADA” where, in addition to a huge visual change, there is also a change in Johnny’s performance.
In the last 6 appearances, he has recorded 5 defeats and only 1 victory over veteran Hector Lombard.
3. Vitor Belfort
Former UFC champion Vitor Belfort is one of the examples in MMA circles as a synonym for a fighter who “failed” with the arrival of USADA in the UFC.
Belfort is a guy who just looked amazing. “The Phenom” had a medical license and used testosterone therapies. With the arrival of USADA, many substances were eliminated from the program and the therapy that Belfort and a large number of fighters from Brazil took, was put on the list of banned substances.
Belfort was positive for that substance even after the ban, so a suspension and a two-year break followed. Upon his return, it was evident that he was no longer the same fighter. First by the look which is totally different, and also by the performance and the way of fighting.
Since returning from suspension, Belfort has 2 wins and 4 losses. He is no longer a member of the UFC, he signed for the One Championship and his appearance shows a big difference again, it seems that Vitor is “back to normal”!
2. Erick Silva
Erick Silva came to the UFC as one of the greatest potentials of Brazilian MMA. He had an attractive fighting style and the UFC saw him as a potential star.
There were victories, there were defeats, but with the arrival of USADA, his career went into total turmoil. In the last 5 fights in the UFC, he has suffered 4 defeats and only one victory.
A bad run resulted in dismissal from the UFC. The fight at the LFA follows, where Silva won, and it is time to sign a contract with Bellator.
In Bellator, Silva recorded 2 appearances and both were defeats. He seemed unrecognizable.
1. Renan Barao
Definitely number 1 on this list of fighters is former bantamweight champion Renan Barao.
Barao was a man who did not lose the match for 10 years and acted predominantly. After a reign of 10 years, T.J. Dillashaw manages to beat him and take his title.
Barao returned and won the next match against Phillipe Nover, but then “hell” started.
He lost the rematch with T.J. Dillashaw and fell into the worst period of his career. In the last 8 appearances, he was defeated as many as 7 times, the only victory was against Phillip Nover.
Barao recorded defeats from fighters that he used to overcome with ease, and he seemed totally unrecognizable. He acted so badly that the UFC decided to thank him for his long-term cooperation and wish him luck in the continuation of his career. Maybe the younger generations don’t know, but the guys that have been following MMA for a long time know what kind of fighter he was.