MMA legend credits doctor’s supervision for getting away with using PEDs in the early days of the UFC

UFC pioneer and MMA legend Ken Shamrock recently opened up about PE) use and extreme weight cutting in the early days of the UFC. In a candid interview, Shamrock shed light on the widespread use of PEDs during that era and his own experience with cutting weight for the first time.

“It seems like everybody in the U.S. was on something. Right. And everybody was doing it – it was like a free for all in those days,” Shamrock stated, referring to the rampant PED use among stars in the UFC’s formative years.

While acknowledging the issue, Shamrock was quick to point out that he always did things “the proper way” under medical supervision. “I was always under a doctor’s care. That’s why I’m where I’m at now. I’m healthy, I have no issues.”

However, Shamrock admitted he was troubled by certain practices, particularly relating to weight cutting. He revealed a harrowing experience of cutting weight for the first time before his second UFC title fight against Tito Ortiz.

It’s worth noting that Ortiz was at one point managed by Dana White – as was Chuck Liddell. White and Ortiz’s relationship has since soured greatly.

“I went from 218, 220 pounds down to 200. I’d never cut weight before. And I started to cut and I crashed. I mean, I couldn’t stop… I think I weighed in at 201 or or something stupid like that. I’ve never been that light before.”

Shamrock then contrasted his own weight-cut struggles with Ortiz’s seeming ability to regain size quickly after the weigh-ins. “I look at him, he’s twice as big as he was the night before we did weights,” Shamrock said, suggesting Ortiz may have used illicit methods.

The MMA trailblazer emphasized that at the time, with no “science or anything to that,” he simply did what fighters did, acknowledging a lack of knowledge around cutting weight safely and legally.

Shamrock’s eye-opening comments provide a glimpse into the Wild West era of early MMA, when PED policies and weight management practices were largely unregulated. His story underscores how far the sport has evolved in prioritizing fighter safety and anti-doping efforts.