Ken Shamrock Open Up on How Everyone in the Early UFC Were on Some Sort of PEDs

Ken Shamrock Open Up on How Everyone in the Early UFC Were on Some Sort of PEDs

Ken Shamrock, a legendary figure in mixed martial arts, recently discussed the prevalence of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) in the early days of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). In a candid conversation, he shed light on how the use of PEDs was almost a norm during the formative years of the UFC.

The Era of PEDs in UFC

Shamrock stated, “It seems like everybody in the UFC was on something…It was a free-for-all pre-USADA days.” He reflected on the mentality of that generation, where fighters believed they needed PEDs to compete effectively. However, he noted that as time progressed, there was more education on the adverse effects of these substances, especially on cardio performance.

The Shift to Safer Alternatives

By the late ’90s, fighters began transitioning to substances like growth hormones and testosterone, which the body naturally produces, to aid in recovery and strength. Shamrock pointed out, “They started doing more of the growth and the test…your body recovers and you’re getting stronger as you go through your training.

Personal Approach to PEDs

Shamrock emphasized that he was always under a doctor’s care, which has contributed to his current state of health. He remarked, “I was always under a doctor’s care…I have always done it the proper way.

Experience with Weight Cutting and Testing

Sharing his experience with weight cutting and drug testing, Shamrock detailed his first weight cut for a fight against Tito Ortiz. He recalled dropping from 218 to 200 lbs and experiencing a physical crash. “I’d never cut weight before…I remember looking at Tito…he was twice as big as he was the night before we did weigh-ins.” This incident led him to reevaluate his approach and acknowledge the unnatural physical transformations some fighters underwent.

Reflecting on the Transition in MMA

The interview with Shamrock highlights the evolution of drug use in MMA, moving from unregulated use of various PEDs to a more controlled and health-conscious approach. It also underscores the challenges faced by fighters in adapting to changing norms and regulations in the sport.