Chad Mendes has had an awful time of it in recent years.
After his TKO loss to Conor McGregor, he was flat-lined by Frankie Edgar and when he tested positive for a banned substance last month, he didn’t look for sympathy either. Like the two knockouts, Chad took it on the chin.
I didn't do my homework and that was a big mistake. I own it and I'm going to pay for it.
— chad mendes (@chadmendes) June 18, 2016
After this tweet, Mendes went quiet. It later transpired that he tested positive for a substance called GHRP-6 in a USADA out-of-competition test.
He is not the first, nor will he be the last to fail a USADA test. Per the Joe Rogan Experience, the procedure cost $40,000 per test and has caught out the likes of Anderson Silva, BJ Penn, Frank Mir and Lyoto Machida. Of course, either side of UFC 200, both Jon Jones and Brock Lesnar were respectively found to have used estrogen blockers.
Should a fighter fail these tests, the substance found in their systems remains undisclosed unless the athlete acknowledges and states the material publicly.
Last night, Mendes emerged from the wood work in an interview with “The Drive”, a local radio show in Sacramento (where the Team Alpha Male fighter resides). He explained that he had tried the substance as a way of alleviating his life-long affliction of psoriasis.
“GHRP-6 is what it was. Before all this came out, I had no idea what the hell that stuff was. When my test results came back and they told me that’s what I tested positive for, I was like I don’t even know what that is. I started doing a bunch of research and one thing I want to clear up to the people calling me “roid head” and “juice head” and stuff like that – this isn’t even a steroid. It’s a peptide.
“A lot of people use it for skin treatments. It’s basically an anti-aging peptide. Basically what I was using it for, I’ve suffered from plaque psoriasis my entire life. I have it all over my shins, my entire scalp is covered in it, it’s all over my ears, I get a big patch of it on my side. I’ve had that since I can even remember.”
The 31-year-old revealed that he has looked into many treatments for the condition over the years; however, some side effects are significant.
“I’ve tried going seeing specialists and there’s a couple options I can do with them and it’s like take a pill, which is god awful for your liver and just tears your stomach up. There’s ointments and creams that they’ve given me but those destroy my immune system. I’m training like two or three times a day during a training camp. If I’m putting this stuff on at night before bed or something, I can’t be getting sick throughout my training camp. I can’t be getting sick right before a fight. It’s just not an option so I can’t use those.
“They’ve talked about giving me a shot and I’ve done research on that and that’s also super bad on your liver.”
The fighter also acknowledged that he ultimately has to take responsibility for what happened. He added:
“This was one of the cases that it had something in it that was on the USADA “banned list”. My situation was just kind of bad luck I feel. Ultimately, I broke the rules. Did I use it? Of course. I didn’t try to go to USADA and try to make up some BS story, trying to lie my way out of it.
“I broke the rules. Whether it’s intentional or not, it’s still breaking the rules. I told them I don’t expect any special treatment.
“Two years is a long time, especially in this sport, especially for a first time offender, especially over something that is not a steroid. It’s a tough situation. There are rules, they are in place, I think USADA’s doing a great job with that and I can’t be the one to break the rule and then be like ‘I want special treatment’. It’s just tough.”
There is definitely an amicable quality to how Mendes has dealt with the latest blow to his title hopes. No lying, no whinging or no complaining. We have seen this pattern before as many Irish fight fans took a shining to Mendes following UFC 189 and his complimentary views of their support.
While he had planned to sit out the remainder of 2016 in order to rest, Mendes will now be away from the UFC for two years. Returning at age of 33 with signs of a deteriorating chin and some devastating losses, one has to question; how much “Money” might have left?
Garbh Madigan, Pundit Arena