UFC welterweight contender Johny Hendricks was a guest on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani recently to talk about the controversy surrounding additional drug testing for his UFC 167 title bout with Georges St. Pierre. GSP initially said he was going to pay for the testing for both of them, but VADA offered to sponsor GSP's testing instead. Now Hendricks and his manager are trying to offer their side of things. Here's what Hendricks said initially to Ariel:
"You can test me today for anything. Today, tomorrow, you name the time, I'll be there."
"I don't know GSP and for him to say ‘yeah, let's go take the test over here and nowhere else that I suggested or that even the UFC suggested,' that's a little suspect to me," Hendricks said. "My career is held in his hands and here he has a foot in the door with the VADA group."
"That's like if you're trying out for a job, and a guy says, hey, we're both trying out for the same job, you both gotta sign up for a drug test," Hendricks said. "And he says ‘hey I've got a really good guy that you can drug test over here.' Are you going to take that drug test over here with someone that he knows, or are you going to get someone you don't know, so that way it's on equal grounds?"
"I'm not willing to say ‘You know what GSP, you might be correct, they may not be shady, they might do it 100 percent correct," he said. "But you're talking about, I beat GSP that's millions of dollars. If I do this drug test, and they do do something to where I don't get it, now it might cost me millions of dollars, I'm not willing to risk that for GSP just to sit here and push VADA."
If he has issues with VADA or he doesn't trust them, that's fine. I don't agree with his reasoning, but he has every right to feel that way. He carried on with his explanation:
"Once we found out it was a little suspect, we said, let's still do the drug testing, but let's take it a step further," he said. "Let's go to WADA, the world Olympic testing. The Nevada commission, they picked WADA, they had nothing but good things to say. ... We wanted to do WADA. When the UFC said let's do WADA, I was 100 percent ready for that."
"Then all of a sudden a week later after the conference call, I didn't know GSP was going to be doing a drug test, then it comes out that ‘Johny denied it,'" he said. "I said hey, you didn't even tell me you were going to do VADA. The last I heard from my management and the UFC was WADA. Then GSP just went and did VADA on his own and threw me under the bus to clear his name."
He then closed with a statement trying to figure out exactly why GSP was doing...whatever it is that he's doing:
"I really believe he has a reason to be scared," the former NCAA champion wrestler said. "I think I can beat GSP. I believe it. There's a part of me, I believe 100 percent I can beat GSP. Is that why he's doing it? Is he playing head games to try to distract me? I don't know. I don't know GSP. There's a lot of ways that this can play and I'm just not buying it.
"I know I'm not taking anything," Hendricks continued. "I know I'm clean. I can pass any drug test given to me at any point at any time. It's just that I don't like that somebody has a foot in the door [with VADA]. That's my biggest concern. There's certain things going around, that affects what's going to happen. It doesn't affect me. I know I'm never going to fail a drug test. I haven't yet and I know I'm not going to. If I need drugs to help me when then I don't want to do it."
To me, it just sounds like Hendricks doesn't want anything to mess up his shot at the title. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, I'd feel the same way. I believe VADA would announce any failed test before the bout, which would kill it before it ever got off the ground. B.J. Penn had the same concerns - after all, if you don't fight you don't get paid. I'm not implying anything in regards to Johny possibly failing - I'm saying that if I didn't 100% trust the organization that could potentially ruin his payday and possible future earnings, I'd have issues too.
But there are people out there that are going to see these issues with VADA as suspicious. It's a very tricky situation overall.