Lyoto Machida thinks that the USADA is doing the UFC more harm than good.
After being handed an 18-month suspension over a failed drug test related to his aborted bout with Dan Henderson last April, the former UFC light heavyweight champion talked about his fate with a heavy heart. Speaking in Monday’s MMA Hour, Machida expressed his disappointment:
“First of all, I want to say that I am very disappointed in USADA. I think this is all extremely unfair. I take the blame for 7-Keto. It wasn’t a banned substance since I bought it over the counter in a supplement store when it stated on it’s label 60 vegetarian capsules. For me, USADA didn’t give us proper instructions and I think they failed in educating us about everything. To be honest, they only sent me a list of banned supplements after my suspension, two days later. But before, when it was supposed to be, it didn’t happen. When UFC brought USADA in, I thought it was to instruct and educate all the fighters. Instead they came in to punish in an unreasonable fashion. So they came to the academy and I explained everything and disclosed everything during the test. I didn’t know it was banned substance. Unfortunately, they didn’t see my honesty.”
Honesty to Machida is admitting he took 7-Keto and that he took it in good faith. But in the first place, why did the Dragon take a drug which is known to aid in weight loss? Replied Machida:
“I came from two losses in a row. I was very hard training at that moment and so stressed. I used that for stress relief. I didn’t know that. My intention was in a good way. How could I take this supplement to the fight if I know it was banned? How? Somebody on a good conscious didn’t do that at all. I took the supplement. I have two witness when I took it in my room and I knew that I would get blood test anytime. I took them because I didn’t know. So, I take the blame, made mistake, Okay, I get it. But I think it was extremely unfair to punish me like that.”
With his 18-month suspension retroactive to April, Machida will be back to compete in October 2017. By that time he will be 39 years old, however, he isn’t thinking about retirement yet:
“It’s my life, I want to compete again, I think I have a lot of things to do, a lot of things to give my fans still,”
Hopefully, Machida will be back and ‘extra careful’ next time around. Because ‘honesty’ is not an exception to the rule.