Mark Bocek Says 90 Percent PED Use in MMA 'Sounds About Right'
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 08.11.2014
Bocek explains why he retired...
Mark Bocek recently spoke on on the MMA Hour (via MMAFighting) about his decision to retire and more. Check out the highlights:
On why he retired: "I kind of feel like [it began to happen], maybe leading up to that [Raphael] Dos Anjos fight, when I was starting to lose a little bit of motivation. Any MMA fighter will tell you, if you lose motivation and you're still trying to compete just to get another pay check -- especially at the UFC level -- it's not a very intelligent decision, and you're probably going to lose. But it's not just that. Losing motivation was one thing. Weight cutting, there's another thing. Other than that, to be honest, and something that I never really touched upon as much, brain damage. I don't want to get brain damage. You're going to need your brain for a long time."
On Georges St. Pierre saying that he's suffered memory loss as an example of the above: "He's one of the best, so that can obviously and clearly happen to anybody. And it's a concern for me as well."
On if PEDs contributed to his decision: "Not to bring it up again, but it was one of the reasons I did leave, yeah, the PEDs. I know everyone's saying it comes off weak, don't mention [a PED problem] unless you're going to mention names, blah blah blah, but, I don't think it's classless to mention there's a PED war going on. It's classless to mention names. That's not fair. That's not right. But this is not just an MMA problem, this is a problem I've seen in my career for 17 years. Let's forget MMA for a second and look at jiu-jitsu. What do you think happens at a high level in jiu-jitsu when testing is extremely lax?"
On the PED problem: "What it comes down to is money, and fighters like me, who don't have massive bank accounts, so it just becomes something that's impossible to compete with any longer. So, I want to end this on a victory, and have a good memory of the sport rather than leave on a loss and being sour and thinking, ‘why did I take more fight, like Matt Hughes, Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture.'"
On when he noticed PEDs becoming a problem: "We all lift weights, and we know what weight-lifting does. Weight-lifting doesn't turn one into a superhuman freak that doesn't get tired. It doesn't really work like that. [PEDs are] not a magic bullet, or anything. You still have to do the hard work. It's not like you can give this to anyone and they'll become the world champion. But when you have someone who is highly evolved, and highly trained, and highly motivated, and highly focused with training and work ethic and diet and big money on the line…of course it's going to be an issue, unfortunately."
On speculation that 90% of fighters are using PEDs: "We can only speculate, we can't put a number on it, but maybe someone like me can go further into this area than your average Joe. Maybe 90% sounds about right. You could say that, yeah."
On other problems he sees with the industry: "Let's take the PEDs out for a second, let's even forget about that as rampant as they are. With certain fights and certain fighters and certain people, you don't even see who the best fighter is. Because you know if you take someone down, you're probably going to end up on the undercard in your next fight, because they hate grappling. The UFC doesn't even like grappling, because the uneducated fans don't like grappling. So you start doing things like that, you end up on the undercard. If you stand in the middle and abandon strategy and just put on a slugfest and see who stays standing until the end, that's what people want. That's what they want to see, but now the chances of you winning the fight are much lower."
On if the UFC is doing enough to stop PEDs: "Let me put it this way, maybe if I'm the UFC, maybe I don't want all this WADA and VADA and voluntary testing, right? Because, if we start doing this type of testing, results come out before events come out, so we don't really cash in on your PPV money. But if we deal with this lax commission testing, the results come out after PPV, so it's a little more convenient."
On his future: "I'll always be involved in martial arts in one way or another. Like jiu-jitsu and wrestling, I love that stuff, and I love striking too, don't get me wrong. I just don't want to get hit in the head anymore."