Ring fights + DRUGS

I had a good chat with a friend last night regarding
drugs on the fight scene in Thailand. He just got
back after six months training & fighting - he fights
the top guys at the top stadiums so he knows the game.

He said many fighters there regularly fight on drugs.
Cocaine is a popular drug of choice, used mainly
to "hype" up the fighter and increase aggression.

He also said that he felt it totally screwed up their
bodies - especially the point that Paladin raised -
being injured during a fight and not realising
the extent of the injury because they are coked
up to the eyeballs.

He also said the use of anabolic steroids was not
common in Thain fighters, although the drugs are
readily available in Thailand.

Have any of you guys used drugs prior to competition?


You guys ever hear of tricholine? What about xenadrine?

Moderate stimulants. Every now and then, I lift weights on ephedrine. Does it help me, physically? Some. But getting sped up before you do something changes you, psychologically and physiologically- it raises your aggressiveness and biological preparedness (i.e., puts you closer to fight/flight response). This opens up the neural pathways, and lets them recover faster. Faster neural action= more efficient muscle activation= increased preformance. Also, one of the other effects of speed is that you tend to ignore pain. This might be a good thing in the ring, but could, as you can tell, easily lead to sustaining a pretty bad injury.

I'm not advocating using. But I'm not saying, don't do it. It's a powerful tool, but also one that tends to bite you later one. Sure, you might fight great, but do you really want to go through amphetamine crash? Trust me, you would shoot yourself, but it hurts to much to pick up the gun. If you're after 15 minutes of glory at any price, and think you can stay level headed, by all means, go for it.

I have used ephedrine and xenodrene (quite legal) as a metabolic accelerator for diet assistance.

But it doesn't make a difference to my psychological state to get in the ring. ... and I'll tell you when everyone in the gym is half your age and 40 pounds more full of musle than you - there are days your rather be next door doign step aerobics with the cuties !

It doesn't matter what you put in your nose - YOU CAN'T FAKE ENDURANCE !


I would guess what the Thai guys are using is ya-ba--thier word for speed. It's either crushed and snorted/smoked or just popped in pill form. It is VERY common as a recreational drug and as a performance enhancer. Some friends of mine who started going to Thailand about five years ago told me that the drug use now is a fraction of what it was then.

Goong Noi, who's your friend? Does he train at Sityodtong by any chance?

The effect of Cocaine is similar to the class of neurotransmitters called endorphins. One of the things that endorphins do is block or reduce the transmission of pain, so taking cocaine could have the effect you described.

It also could make you unable to know when you should tap out on a choke, whether or not you just had your arm broken, or your foot, or whatever. It would make you hyperaggressive as well.

I know some fighters that use cocaine.

No doubt,
these types of drugs generally are not good for your
health - but then neither is copping a knee to the
head. Ring fighting is by nature a dangerous and
potentially unhealthy pursuit, so it is no surprise
that some participants are willing to use drugs in
an effort to enhance their performance.

I wonder what goes on behind closed doors during
"tournament" style competitions...IE the early UFC.
Some of those guys had very long and tiring fights,
then had to back up a short time later for another
fight... and another!!

Seeing as some of those fighters already appear to be
using drugs like anabolic steroids during training,
it would seem possible and probable that they may
also use drugs on the night in an effort to improve
their performance.

Any thoughts?


It would depend on a lot of things.

1. Your current level of cardio-vascular fitness.

The more fit you are , the less likely you are to suffer a fatal heart attack. Most people who would use amphetamines would not be in the best shape they could be, or they wouldn't be using the drugs. so this is the primary factor.

2. Congenital defects.

If you have a thin heart muscle, or thin arteries somewhere, these drugs could aggravate the natural condition and kill you.

3. Normal risk factors such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension. artherosclerosis, etc. All of these contribute normally to heart attacks so they combine with the increase caused by powerful stimulants to further increase one's risk.

The old message is the best one: Don't do drugs, they can and will kill you. It would be a shame to die just to win a competition.

I definately think that it goes on. Espessially in MMA. Just like Goong said in the opening post, you see a lot of evidence in the body language of some fighters. I remember watching a MMA fight just within the last year and thinking to myself damn, that dudes on coke. But, some of the unusual tooth grinding and head movements may just be a fighter dealing with nerves. We all know you're on egde as you step into the ring before fighting.

Drugs are bad... Mkay?


I know there are guidelines related to discussing this topic...
But I can't believe we can have an open forum on full contact
fighting without discussing the topic of drug use by fighters.

I don't want to name fighters or tell anyone how to go about
purchasing or using illegal substances... But how common
is the use of drugs amongst fighters? I know many fighters may use
performance enhancing drugs in training such as anabolic
steroids, but I'm talking about fight - night drugs.

To get the ball rolling - When I first started fighting it never
occured to me that a person would fight on drugs. I'm talking
primarily about amphetamines (speed, wizz, meth etc.) on fight night.
As I became more experienced it became apparent that it was
happening - not because I saw it happen but because it seemd
to be a talked about part of the fight culture.

When I began to fight over five rounds instead of three it
crossed my mind that such a substance could benefit performance.
To the point where on one occasion I used such a drug because I
felt like I needed it - my preparation was inadequate and I was
worried. I made a decision to use amphetamines. I lost that fight. It
was the first and only time I lost a fight (so far).

I have seen some evidence of drugs at fight nights. I believe many
fighters may use drugs without their instructor knowing - yet the
instructors appear more than willing to turn a "blind eye" towards
such behaviour. The old attitude of "I don't want to know" appears
STAND FOR DRUG USE BY FIGHTERS. But some certainly don't care
either way as long as they are not implicated. Some trainers may in
fact offer their fighters such drugs and this is not unheard of.

I have seen many UFC tapes where the fighter is standing in the
octagon waiting for an announcement....They are licking their lips,
gnashing at their mouthguard, making wierd movements with their
mouth and / or nose. These are TRADEMARK signs or amphetamine
use. Yes it could be explained other ways but you look closely at the
fight tapes and check it out.

I am not trying to detract from fighter performances. I just want to
know how widespread you guys feel the use of drugs in fighting
has become.

Goong Noi

In my personal experience, I don't recall ever running across this phenomena. At least, not so that I recognized what was happening. I have been to many amateur and pro events, but don't recall seeing evidence of drug use.

But then, that could be my own naivete. I don't expect there to be that sort of thing, so I may not be recognizing the signs.

The closest that I, or any of my teammates or fighters have come to "drug" use prior to a fight is drinking a Red Bull a little prior to the match.

Khun Kao

I wonder just how dangerous this could be. These drugs jack up your heart rate, fighting does the same thing-wouldn't a heart attack be possible?

Just for the record, stimulants do NOT speed you up significantly, in fact there is some empirical evidence that they do otherwise. While you FEEL faster, some studies (they weren't double blinded, so they are debatable) had 2 groups of army recruits, some with stimulants some without competing in several events and the difference was not statistically significant (Although it was in favor of the not stimulated group.)

Yeah I have also seen those studies.
Apparently little evidence that stimulants increase
speed of movement or reaction time. People who
use stimulants have a perception that they are
more responsive, but no evidence to support it.

There is evidence that these drugs enhance the
endurance of an athlete. Joe, the legality of
things like ephedrine (not familiar with xenodrene)
is relative to where you are located. Here in
Australia it is illegal to purchase or supply
Ephedrine except on prescription from a doctor. I
know these laws are different in the USA & other

Most forms of amphetamines are basically ephedrine
in a concentrated form. They bake down the ephedrine
supplement using a series of chemical reactions and
extract the pure ephedrine. Snort a few lines and
away you go.
So when people use dietary supplements with ephedrine
they are actually using a mild form of the illegal
drug called speed or crystal meth. I'm probably not
telling you guys anything you didn't already know.

Paulm, I'd rather not name my source on drug taking
in Thailand but no, he does not train at Sityodtong.