Jon Fitch responds to Firas Zahabi calling him a drug cheat

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

In 2015 Jon Fitch lost to Rousimar Palhares in a California WSoF event, and then failed a PED test, for which he was suspended nine months.

Fitch fights Rory MacDonald at Bellator 220 on April 27 in San Jose, California. During

“There’s no question about it - Jon Fitch tested positive for illegal substances, PEDS, performance-enhancing drugs, he’s had a major resurgence in his career,” said Zahabi. “The truth of the matter is he’s not as good as people think he is. He’s really just a cheater.”

Uncharacteristically for the sport, Fitch acknowledged wrongdoing.

“I did, I cheated. There’s no hiding from that,” said Fitch to Damon Martin for MMA News. “I was struggling financially, we were just exiting the period of TRT where people could get therapeutic exemptions to use testosterone. I found out that there were guys I fought who were on legal testosterone and that bothered me. Because I got released from the UFC, I was making 70-percent less money and there are guys who I know were on legal TRT are still competing in the UFC, still competing at a high level and making way more money than me. I’m thinking to myself why am I holding myself back from making money when all these guys are cheating, everybody is turning a blind eye to them, why don’t I do what they do? I’m fighting a guy who’s known for cheating in multiple different ways. I rationalized the experience and it was a horrible experience. It was the stupidest thing ever. I’m kind of embarrassed.”

“I hope talking about it openly will discourage other guys. Because I’ve said this before, it’s not helpful in a weight class sport. I really don’t. The recovery isn’t anything to be noted. You can eat garbage food and look great but I didn’t see any type of benefit from it.”

Fitch did deny that he continued to dope, and said Zahabi was excuse making.