This weekend all-action UFC featherweight Cub Swanson will look to end a two-fight skid when he faces Renato Moicano at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Swanson, who is coming off defeats to Brian Ortega and Frankie Edgar, could well have been turning out for another promotion nowadays and earning more money in the process, but Swanson says it was the UFC’s commitment to USADA which convinced him to continue with organisation despite receiving more lucrative offers elsewhere.
Swanson fought out his UFC contract last December and, unfortunately for him, the loss to Ortega significantly hurt his negotiation options.
“I feel like when it was all said and done, we were able to see eye-to-eye [financially],” Swanson said on The MMA Hour via MMA Fighting. “It was more than they were initially offering me. I did get some huge offers, but the companies weren’t as stable and things like that, and it was really making me really think hard. But one of the biggest things is, I’m all for USADA.
“I spent a long time fighting for the company without the major drug testing, and I feel like I wasn’t a big fan of that, so I just was thinking in my head, ‘Do I really want to be fighting guys who I know are just cheating?’ And I’m not one to do that, so I was happy to sign back with the UFC and be in a clean sport.”
A 14-year veteran of the sport, Swanson admits that in his younger days he was naive as to how prevalent the culture of performance enhancing drugs has been in mixed martial arts.
“I was pretty ignorant to it all through my WEC days because I came from a smaller gym, I believe. I think when you get to, like, the super-gyms, there are more people who are helping each other out and so there’s more of a chance that you get to learn about that kind of stuff. I didn’t learn about any of that kind of stuff until later in my career, and really finding out like, wow, okay.
“And there’s a difference between somebody taking the smallest amount to recover, and then a combination of like 10 things to make them just an animal, enough to change the structure of your face. You know what I mean? The size of your head. So there’s a difference between taking a little bit to recover and then making you just like a robot, and I feel bad for them in the long run, because I think they’ll have a lot of problems down the road.
“I think that when they talk about concussions and things like that, I feel like a lot of people don’t take into consideration that it’s the concussions mixed with the steroids, and what that might do to the brain.”