The Necessary Growing Pains of a UFC-USADA Marriage — Opinion

For the love and affection. I don't know exactly the plans of God for me.

Bisping on Wednesday sounded upbeat during a media call in speaking about the opportunity in front of him on such short notice. I can't express my feelings and how sad I am. He became a UFC champion nearly 10 years later to the day. However, this involves enduring the sometimes comical routine of fight cards being altered and the loss of notable competitors at a time when the UFC is in almost desperate need of stars and big moments.

For Bisping, who defeated Silva in a Feb. 2016 "Fight of the Night" at UFC Fight Night 84, the writing is on the wall. If you recall, he failed a drug test around the time of his UFC 183 fight with Nick Diaz in January 2015 before USADA partnered with the MMA promotion. "I was a huge fan of Anderson Silva". But it won't be the last we'll see of the 38-year-old as Bisping has a different date in mind for his retirement bout. By contrast, the majority of GSP's victories prior to UFC 83 were either submission victories from trapping the opponent in a painful hold, or technical knockout victories by landing too many fast, hard, strikes that weren't avoided. "It's just disappointing, and it's a black eye to the sport of MMA". The Brazilian star has repeatedly denied that he has ever knowingly taken banned substances.

After a great back-and-forth contest, St-Pierre landed a hellacious hook that planted Bisping down which allowed him to sink in the rear-naked choke. On top of that, the UFC has shown itself to be inept at handling some of the finer scientific points of the testing protocols on its own, as was the case with the Cung Le debacle at UFC Fight Night 48.

Despite leaving the UFC to boos, hearing the crowd chant "G-S-P" in his return fight at UFC 217 wasn't surprising. This leaves the division in a bit of a funk. This could keep the appearances of a harsh anti-PED culture, while trying to preserve the fight cards and keep the consequences to a minimum. "I've been at peace for a long time", he said. Going backwards would be opening the door for criticism to which the sport may not be willing or able to answer successfully. These are nothing more than growing pains.