UFC heavyweight Roy Nelson says he wants to clean up the sport of mixed martial arts and he’s not just talking the talk.
There is growing concern in MMA, as there is in most professional sports, about the use of performance-enhancing drugs, so to prove a point that athletes can compete at the highest level without taking any prohibited substance, Nelson signed on with the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) prior to his TUF 16 finale fight with fellow coach Shane Carwin.
“It’s about a healthier sport and about healthier fighters and basically improving our youth,” Nelson recently told (Showdown) Joe Ferraro on UFC Central Radio on Sportsnet 590 The Fan. “Some of these kids think it’s okay to do drugs and stuff like that and really it’s not.”
Watch new episodes of The Ultimate Fighter 16 every Friday on Sportsnet and visit sportsnet.ca for weekly recaps
Big Country explained that there are two main reasons he wanted to volunteer for VADA testing.
“I’m blessed with the God-given gifts that God gave me and I want to keep it an even playing field and also at the same time, fighters’ health and safety,” said Nelson, who added that the UFC encouraged its fighters to sign up for these drug tests at the most recent fighter summit.
Nelson believes that in the future these types of tests and programs will become more prevalent, saying, “There’s always an evolution to our sport and (an effort) to make our sport better.”
Listen to Nelson talk about his upcoming fight, his experience coaching opposite Carwin on TUF 16, and why he might want to fight UFC president Dana White and UFC chairman Lorenzo Fertitta at the same time.