It seems that Strikeforce can’t get a break. Having two of their unbeaten rising stars losing on the same night was a body blow. Then having to fess up that their much talked about middleweight tournament is now set to be scrapped was embarrassing.
Now it seems there’s controversy brewing over a potentially banned substance being used in the cage by certain fighters prior to their bouts at the event in Houston, Texas.
The news first came to light on the MiddleEasy site who spotted both King Mo and KJ Noons taking hits from compressed oxygen cans prior to their fights on Saturday night. According to the rules this is not on the approved list of substances that can be brought into the cage before a bout.
Oxygen may seem like a fairly harmless item to be using, but it should be noted that such substances have been scientifically proven to considerably enhance an athlete’s endurance, and so would appear to be giving one fighter an advantage over the other.
Today Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker gave his take on the situation on the MMA Nation radio show.
“You know, I’ll tell you, the cans, the oxygen cans were brought to our attention actually this morning by one of our guys and I didn’t see any anything, but I heard that they [Noons and Lawal] were taking some oxygen. Like you say, canned oxygen. So, we’re going to look into it, but right now I just don’t have enough information so I don’t want to comment until I find out what it was. And from what I hear everything that they did was approved by the commission, so we’ll talk to them and have a conversation with them.”
In other related news that has raised some eyebrows in the MMA community it has also emerged after the weekend’s event that the Texas commission did not require drug testing on the night of the event, something which has essentially become standard practice in the sport.
Overall, it’s just another gaffe by the promotion and one that brings more bad publicity that they could do without right now.