I have a cousin. It was his junior year of high school, and as a wide receiver on the football team he wanted to spend his off season increasing his speed with the track team. There was only one problem though, he wasn’t fast enough to beat the trial time. He wasn’t a junky, a punk, or a fuck up, but he needed some help if he wanted to make that extra second to make the track team. His friends came to his help and he took a bump of cocaine before heading to his try out. To this day he describes the idea as completely moronic and utterly stupid. When he describes the sensation of sprinting on cocaine he makes it sound as if his arteries were going to explode through his face as he cleared the finish line with his flailing husk of a body. He didn’t die though. A splash of water on his face, he caught his breath, and he made the team.
In the after shame of Jon Jones’ cocaine loaded drug test results, MMA fans are debating the purpose of party drugs within the recreational regiment of a world class super athlete. Should DC be ashamed that he lost to crack head? No wonder Jon “Blow” Jones was an asshole this whole time! Jesus, was he stoked on coke when he went into the cage with Cormier? How the hell does a coke head even get that far in the UFC? Why the fuck should we even care about how an athlete parties in their spare time?
To clear up some of these questions I decided to speak with Dr. Jen Case (PHD in Sports Nutrition, BJJ Brown Belt, MMA Fighter, Two Time BJJ Worlds Absolute Purple Belt Champion, and all around bad ass) to discuss the logistics on how one would go about winning a fight while fully jacked on coke.
First off, can cocaine be beneficial for a fighter in a physically competitive MMA fight?
In theory, yes. Obviously this in not something we research in a laboratory, but given the fact the cocaine is a powerful stimulant; it could have a beneficial effect on athletic performance.
Physiologically speaking, what benefits would one gain from being loaded on coke during a fight?
One of the main reasons that athletes takes stimulates of any kind is to increase alertness. Almost all pre-workout supplements have some kind of stimulant in them. The athlete takes a pre-workout to feel more awake or energetic during their training session. If you are more alert during a fight, you can see opening sooner, setup your attacks faster and response to your opponents attacks faster. In terms of energy, we’ve all rolled against an “energizer bunny”; they never seem to get tired. Stimulates can increase that energy level by increasing blood flow and oxygen delivery to working tissues. Allowing the athlete to not feel the onset of fatigue.
“Basically [cocaine] magnifies the fight or flight response: vasoconstriction to non-essential tissue (stomach, intestines, etc.), vasodilation to muscle, dilated pupils, increased core temperature, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and increased respiratory rate.”
How does the cocaine stimulate these sort of physiological responses?
Cocaine is a central nervous system stimulant. Caffeine another central nervous system stimulate, so when you consider the effects of cocaine on the body, just imagine taking in mega doses of caffeine then quadruple that. Basically it magnifies the fight or flight response: vasoconstriction to non-essential tissue (stomach, intestines, etc.), vasodilation to muscle, dilated pupils, increased core temperature, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and increased respiratory rate. What does that mean for athletic performance?
Vasoconstriction to non-essential tissue – redirects blood flow to working muscles, lungs, heart, etc, allowing these organs to work more efficiently.
Vasodilation to muscle – increases blood flow to working muscles, this results in an increase in energy production in the muscle and an increase in the removal of by-products of energy production (these by-products can cause fatigue if allowed to build up, so the removal of them inhibits the onset of muscle fatigue)
Dilated pupils – increases visual awareness for what is directly in front of you and peripheral vision. Basically, you can see EVERYTHING
Increased core temp – not going to cause a huge improvement to performance, in fact could hinder performance if it gets too high. Organs do not function well when they are outside of the 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit
Increase heart rate & blood pressure – increase rate and amount of blood being delivered to working tissues.
Increase respiratory rate – Increases the intake of oxygen and removal of CO2. When paired with the increase in heart rate & blood pressure it increase the rate of oxygen delivery and removal of CO2 from working tissue. Again, allowing for greater energy production in working tissues
“If you inject the cocaine, the effects peak after about 15 minute and last for about an hour.”
If one were to enter a fight while “jacked on coke” when would be the best time to administer the drug (for peak performance) and what quantities would be ideal?
Lol, well that depends on how you administer the cocaine. In an article written by Avios et al, they discussed the effects of cocaine based on animal studies and accounts from individuals in rehab.
If you inject the cocaine, the effects peak after about 15 minute and last for about an hour.
If you choose to snort cocaine, the effects peak at again 15 minutes and only last 30 minutes.
If smoked, the effects of cocaine are much shorter with peak effects occurring after 5 minutes and diminishing after only 10 minutes.
What are the health hazards involved while fighting on cocaine? Is there a real danger of having your heart explode?
Well….I mean you could die, no biggy. The main hazard is the accelerated heart rate and blood pressure.
Your heart is a muscle and just like your biceps, if you work it too hard it will stop contracting. The main difference is if your biceps stop contracting you drop a dumbbell. You heart stops contracting the blood flow to the body stops and you die.
An increase in blood pressure puts a great deal of pressure on your arteries. If there are any existing clots in the arteries the increase in blood pressure can dislodge a clot. This can result in the clot blocking a smaller artery going to the heart, lungs or brain. Which would result in a heart attack, pulmonary embolism or stroke…and then you die. If there are weaken spots in the arteries, the increase in pressure can cause a rupture the weaken area….and then you die.
” Normal physical activity stresses the heart. This is typically considered a positive form of stress. However, if you pair this stress with extreme stress of cocaine, you putting you cardiac health is serious jeopardy.”
Stepping away from the immediate combative advantages of cocaine are there any potential training benefits that one could gain from using cocaine?
Yes, for all the reasons listed above. But, there is a very real possibility that you could die. Normal physical activity stresses the heart. This is typically considered a positive form of stress. However, if you pair this stress with extreme stress of cocaine, you putting you cardiac health is serious jeopardy.
“According to the NIH, one of the long term effects of chronic cocaine use is loss of appetite and malnourishment. It would be kind of hard to perform athletically if you have limited muscle mass.”
Generally is cocaine detrimental to one’s training regiment?
According to the NIH, one of the long term effects of chronic cocaine use is loss of appetite and malnourishment. It would be kind of hard to perform athletically if you have limited muscle mass. Also, you have to consider the potential damage to your heart when you place it under chronically high levels of stress
How would cocaine effect things like muscle recovery, muscle gains, or even work load output in a training environment?
Due to the potential malnourishment, it would have a huge effect. In order for muscle growth and repair to occur, you need to take in excess calories, protein, carbohydrates and fats. If your body is wasting away due to malnourishment is it impossible for any type of growth and repair to occur in any of your tissues.
Are there current readily available over the counter products that attempt to approach, meet, or even exceed the physiological training advantages of cocaine?
Caffeine. It is legal and a mild central nervous system stimulant. It will have the same effects of cocaine, but not the same magnitude. You’ll feel the increase in the fight or flight response, just not to the same level of cocaine induced effects.
Overall, do you think that recreational cocaine usage can have a measured place in a world class atheletes training regiment?
It’s a hell of a way to make weight, but I don’t think it is necessary. The ergogenic effects can be achieved through safer and legal means. If you are going to do it, it is a highly addictive drug. Be cautious. At the end of the day it’s your life and your decision.
Saad Awad talks Zach Freeman, kickboxing, 165 lb division and more ahead of Bellator 186
Long-time Bellator veteran Saad Awad takes on Zach “the Pico slayer” Freeman at Bellator 186. Awad is currently coming off of a unanimous decision win over Ryan Quinn back at Bellator 178. Awad looks to beat top prospect Freeman in an attempt to go on a two-fight winning streak, in a stacked lightweight division.
Speaking with MMA Latest, Awad let it known he believes Freeman has the better ground game. “I think he’s a solid fighter, pretty durable, obviously better on the ground, so I know I just have to be sharp, and be precise with my striking, and get ready for a good ground game.”
Freeman made his name by beating Bellator’s hyped prospect Aaron Pico back in June, Awad had the chance to give his thoughts on the fight. “I thought it was good, I thought it was a fast win, but he didn’t shy away from it, he didn’t let Pico come in and impose his will, he struck back when he needed to, and dropped him, and got a nice submission.”
With every win helping fighters get closer to a title shot, it’s unclear whether or not Awad is close to a title shot, but he hasn’t given up hope. “I’ve been with Bellator since 2012, I think, or 2013 and I haven’t got a title fight yet so I don’t know man. To be honest, it’s on Bellator and on me to go out there and preform. So I need to win as many fights as I can, so I can go out there and win it.”
For a long time, Awad has been known mostly as the man who knocked out former Bellator champion Will Brooks. Awad believes he’s moved past that fight and more importantly, has moved on from that title. “Definitely at the time I was that guy and I feel like Zach Freeman is that guy for Pico because Pico was pumped up, obviously more than normal. I had that title for a while, but Will Brooks did go off and win a title right after he lost to me, so he had his name buzzing for a while. I definitely think I’ve moved on from that and I’ve beaten some really good guys after that, and I’ve had some really good wars since that fight. I’ll never let one fight dictate who I am and I’m glad I’ve moved past that”
Awad comes into the fight back in the win column and up against an up and coming opponent, Awad details the amount of pressure he’s on. “You know what I always put pressure on myself. Whether I’m winning or losing, because at the end of the day you want to win, whether you’re coming off of a loss or you’re coming off a win. If you lose, you lose, and that’s it, you lost, so there’s always expectation with me and yeah if this time I lose, I could possibly get cut if I lose this one, because I just won my last one and I’m not trying to have a win one, lose, win one, lose one. So there’s still that pressure to perform, especially being that Zach has only one fight in Bellator and I’m probably ten fights in. So I do have some pressure behind me.”
Awad was unable to watch the Henderson-Pitbull fight, lucky, but he did have a theory on why it went the way it did. “You know what I didn’t even watch it, normally I watch all the lightweights but I missed that fight. I read it online, people were complaining saying they both weren’t doing as much, but I understand why Henderson probably wasn’t doing as much, because Patricky hits pretty hard and usually when someone hits pretty hard, you don’t want to go out there with that person and mix it up, because you don’t want to get knocked out. I don’t know if that’s exactly what happened, but I know it could’ve happened. So I take nothing from them because they’re both really good fighters and he won a split decsion so it was obviously close enough for them to go to a split decision.”
Awad also spoke about whether he preferred lightweight or welterweight, and why Bellator should consider a 165-pound weight class. “Honestly man I hate cutting weight. I hate cutting weight but I feel like I’m one of those guys that like if there’s a 165-pound weight class, that would fit me the best. I’m a huge lightweight but I’m a small welterweight, not small but I don’t cut that much weight like my normal walk around weight is probably 165 so you know I’m not the biggest welterweight so I prefer 165 if they added that weight class. If Bellator gets that weight I’d probably be one of the first in line to fight for it.”
With Bellator’s recent splurge on free agents and former UFC fighter’s, Awad believes it’s only helped make Bellator stronger. “I think its cool. No matter where they come from at the end of the day we’re fighters and whether we get cut or we opt to get out of our contracts, it’s because we want to make money, we want to get paid as much as we can, and sometimes we feel like we’re not respected and, were not getting paid what we think we’re worth. So sometimes you have to get out of a contract whether it’s with the UFC, ONE FC or Titan wherever the hell they’re at, or Bellator even. They leave because they want to get paid more. Even if they lost a couple fights, guys can have bad nights and they lose a couple and get cut. It doesn’t mean the guys suck. They could have had something going on or they just have bad match-ups and those guys could be still just as good and dangerous as they were when they first started. So I think nothing of them, I don’t look down on any of the fighters that come here, whether they were cut or opted to get out. At the end of the day, they’re still fighters so there’s respect for their abilities.”
Awad has also been training with Duane Ludwig ahead of this fight. “You know what Duane used to train with my coaches back in the day, I think back in ‘99, 2000 and so they have a really good relationship. He was out in Colorado and we had some teammates that would train with him. Now he’s back out here in Cali, so now we have some teammates going out and mixing it up with them. I’ve only met him once but the dude brings a different aspect to training and for me training with them I would definitely like to train with him more because, like I said, it opened up a whole new book in the chapter of training. I’ll definitely look forward to learning his style of standup because I think it would be good. I’m a big fan of Muay Thai, kickboxing, and boxing, and that’s how I’m going to end being the best I can possibly be, so I think that can add a lot to my arsenal.”
Speaking of kickboxing, Awad has also shown interest in participating on Bellator’s kickboxing cards. “You know what I did ask them, it kind of got shunned away because they’re keeping me busy with MMA. If they cant keep me busy next year I’ll definitely ask them to put me on one of those cards.”
Saad Awad takes on Zach Freeman on November 3rd, at Bellator 186. MMA Latest would like to thank Saad for taking time out of his busy schedule to speak with us.
Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”
Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:
Just make sure you don’t put cooking oil all over your body like Anderson did so it’ll be easy to grab ahold of you @lyotomachidafw 👌
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) October 17, 2017
Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”
Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.
“Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”
Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.
Michael Page Not Focusing on Opponent Ahead of Boxing Debut
MMA Latest spoke to Bellator’s Michael ‘Venom’ Page, as he makes his boxing debut this Friday at the Hayemaker Ringstar Fight Night.
Page (12-0 MMA) is renowned for his entertaining fight style inside the cage, with most of his knockout and submission victories ending up in highlight reels online, that almost always go viral.
‘MVP’ was supposed to make his boxing debut on the undercard of David Haye vs Tony Bellew in March of this year, but due to ongoing negotiations with Bellator, his debut was delayed. Shortly after Page signed with Haye’s promotion “Hayemaker Ringstar.”
Q: So, Michael, we’re about five days out now from your big boxing debut, and still we have no name of an opponent? Can you break the big news, who will you be fighting next week?
I honestly couldn’t even tell you his name right now! I know I’ve got an opponent, but I haven’t even looked at him because it has changed so many times. I don’t like to pay too much attention to it, because it’s added stress. For me it’s just a case of turning up, and firing punches at whoever is across the ring.
Q: Is this fight 10 or 12 rounds? Given a standard boxing fight is a lot longer than your typical 15-minute MMA bout, has there been an emphasis on cardiovascular work in your training camp?
Depending on the opponent, I think it’s 6-rounds. The preparation has been different, I’m having to stress out my shoulders and core a lot. The kicking distance as well is very different, getting used to having people a bit closer. I’m getting used to the corners of the ring, I’ve done it before but not to this extent so I am familiar of it, but my body wasn’t really used to it.
Q: So, is this kind of like a one fight deal for Haye’s Ringstar promotion? Regardless of this fight’s outcome, will you return to MMA?
Not at all, I’m taking it seriously. Otherwise, I would have just had a super fight against a big name like McGregor did. This is why I can’t just jump into a 12 round fight, I need to adjust my body and get it prepared for boxing.
There’s no future plans yet, I’d like to have an MMA fight again before the end of this year, as I haven’t fought this whole year, but another opportunity for boxing may come up and I might get a chance to jump on that, so it depends.
Q: Were you frustrated that Bellator booked Paul Daley vs. Lorenz Larkin, and if you could send a message to Daley right now what would it be?
I have no interest in him anymore. It feels so pathetic and unnecessary now. I don’t think he deserved that fight with Larkin right after the shocking display he put on in Wembley against Rory MacDonald. But good on him he beat Larkin, however he calls me out immediately after then goes on to say he’s past that fight, it just doesn’t make sense.
Q: A statement we hear a lot is “MVP is the only guy outside the UFC that I want in the UFC” People criticise the talent in Bellator and say you’re fighting nobodies, what do you say back to them?
The amount of times you hear “you shouldn’t fight this person, you should have fought that person.” Everyone’s got an idea of what the correct steps someone should make are, but at the end of the day it’s their career. People are so fickle and easy to forget. If you are a fan of somebody, just be a fan of them regardless of win or loss.
Q: I’ve got to ask about how things are with Bellator, because from the outside looking in it’s quite unclear. How is it relationship at the moment?
Yeah I get on with most of the guys, it’s like a small family. I’ve still got a couple of fights left with them, they’re growing very well, the only problem is I feel like they’re focusing a bit too much on ex UFC fighters. For me it says you’re classing yourself as second best. Bellator generate some amazing superstars and young talent, they should continue to promote them.
You can watch ‘MVP’ make his boxing debut this Friday night, as the Hayemaker Ringstar Fight Night will air at 21:00PM on Dave.
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