“PED Use is Worse in BJJ Than in MMA. Some Blue Belts Are Jacked Out Of Their Minds” – Firas Zahabi

4 min read
Is the grappling/Jiu-Jitsu industry full of PEDs or is that just the talk of people with dismal competitive results… the reality may shock you!

Firas Zahabi after training at his gym

“PED Use is Worse in BJJ Than in MMA. Some Blue Belts Are Jacked Out Of Their Minds” – Firas Zahabi

Is the grappling/Jiu-Jitsu industry full of PEDs or is that just the talk of people with dismal competitive results… the reality may shock you!

Location: Orlando, Fl.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Photo by: firas_zahabi

Like with many competitive sports, PED use in Jiu-Jitsu is exceptionally prevalent, according to the famed BJJ and MMA instructor Firas Zahabi, and not just at the elite level as many would think.

Zahabi was recently brought on the popular YouTube channel ‘More Plates More Dates’ hosted by Derrick… a well-respected PED expert.

Zahabi claimed to the shock of many, that PED use was way more prevalent in Jiu-Jitsu than in MMA and with an even bolder follow-up claim…, especially at the amateur lower belt level:

“More Plates More Dates” PED talk

Derrick: “You know, like uh, the reputation of the drug use in BJJ relative to MMA? Competitively in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, it seems to be one of the most drug-ridden sports?”

Firas Zahabi: “Oh my gosh…. Oh my gosh, it’s worse than MMA. It’s way worse than MMA. You’ve got guys going in like local Jiu-Jitsu tournaments blue belt level, and they’re jacked out of their mind, and they’re wrestling some kids like it makes no sense. It’s insane. It’s insane, and the thing is, their Jiu-Jitsu is ugly to me; when I see they’re just tough, it’s just brutish. It’s not sophisticated at all, but they don’t know it. They think their jits is the same as that other guy… Why? Because it’s effective. There’s a difference between efficiency and effectiveness. For instance, there’s a guy named Palhares in MMA. Okay, he would just drop down, grab a guy’s ankle and rip it off. Now the guy was effective, but his jiu-jitsu was not sophisticated. In my opinion, it was good, but it wasn’t as refined as other practitioners. Now I always said, in my opinion, I thought he was on PEDs, then, later on, he got busted on PEDs.”

Joe Rogan on Grappling PEDs

Even Joe Rogan recently spoke about the match and about PED use in Jiu-Jitsu and submission grappling during one of his recent episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience featuring Kevin Lee:

“The submission grappling world is very unconventional because there’s no real drug testing to speak of. Everybody kind of knows everybody is juiced-up in the submission grappling world. It comes into play, especially in No-Gi – well, in Gi too.”

“It’s a physical thing: you have one guy on juice and one who isn’t, then there’s an advantage for the guy juicing if they’re on the same technical level.”

IBJJF drug testing

The IBJJF introduced drug testing in 2013, and in 2014, after winning the IBJJF world Jiu-Jitsu championships, Felipe Pena faced a 1-year ban from USADA-sanctioned competition due to a positive result for testosterone enhancement. This was a victory against PEDs for IBJJF, as it showed that the system worked in the world of grappling… Or did it?

In reality, drug tests are often announced months in advance, meaning the athletes competing can time their doping cycle to not get caught on the specific test date. Did Pena simply time his cycle wrong in 2014, or did it work…. not as foolproof as many would have you believe? Which raises the question of how many more grappling athletes are stacking the odds in their favor on the way to victory by timing their PED use?

Drug testing comes at a cost and can be very expensive…. IBJJF is doing the right here by testing its athletes but is it enough to make an impact?

Many people believe without unannounced, random PED tests, there is next to zero chance of catching PED abusers in grappling and really in any sport. One of the most significant advantages of steroid use is its ability to give a person a far faster recovery time. In Jiu-Jitsu, the users will be able to train longer and harder than an all-natural competitor doing it the right way, then just stop juicing a month before competition day to be cleared.

These PED users will be able to work on their technique, roll much more, and for longer rounds than a clean competitor for most of the year. Even if they lose some of their strength gains from coming off a steroid cycle to avoid disqualification, they will not lose the advancements they made in technique via the extra mat time they could handle.

In reality, if everyone used PEDs, it would be generally fair, and if no one used PEDs, it would be fair. But this mix and match of clean and juiced grapplers is a recipe for skewed/inaccurate winning results. Plus, looking at the long-term health of grappling athletes using PEDs is bleak, to say the least! Quality of life has to be considered, and it’s far better to outlive your competition and live your life than have slightly bigger biceps.

For more of the latest Grappling news, check back here at Rolling Times Media.

P.S. Check Out Tom Hardy With a Jiu-Jitsu Tourney Win Streak!… READ HERE.

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