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Former Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight champion and current Bellator MMA middleweight contender Lyoto Machida has weighed in on his experience with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
Machida previously served an 18-month suspension in 2016 after admitting to taking 7-keto-dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) which is a USADA banned substance. The USADA testing process was brought into the public light last year, especially as it applied to UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
Jones was flagged in 2017 for his second doping violation and was facing a potential four-year ban. However, it was eventually reduced to 15 months with USADA claiming that Jones had provided "substantial assistance" in the process. A further three months was also deducted as USADA deemed there wasn’t sufficient evidence to show Jones intentionally took a banned substance.
Machida spoke to MMAFighting.com and said he questioned the credibility of USADA in light of the Jones case and is glad his USADA testing days are behind him.
”I don’t like to judge anyone,” Machida said. “Maybe what USADA is saying really did happen and there’s this contamination from the past. But, like, when it’s a game of interests, we have questions and never really know what’s going on, what’s the goal behind all this, and USADA’s intentions and UFC’s intentions. Because of that, I prefer to remain in silence and not weigh in on this because I’m more focused on Bellator now. When I saw different results, different substances and different penalties, man… To me, as a person, it lost credibility. For me, not being part of USADA… You can’t understand the joy I have. Not having that daily stress… You could be doing everything by the book, but there was always this stress.”
Machida’s next fight under the Bellator banner is against Chael Sonnen on June 14 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.