In what in hindsight seems like a strange move, the current UFC women's Bantamweight titleholder Holly Holm - most famous for her kick that knocked out Ronda Rousey - signed a two-year endorsement deal with Hi-Tech. Endorsements... nothing wrong with that, obviously. Especially for a champ.
But here's the problem.
Hi-Tech is a pharmaceutical company that produces supplements carrying an amphetamine-like stimulant called DMAA. According to USA Today, DMAA has been deemed legal by the FDA and the WADA. In fact, the substance has been banned for several several years due to a link to cardiovascular issues. The stimulant promotes weight loss, muscle growth, and overall performance enhancement.
Holly got into this by accident
The former 18-time world champion boxer is clearly aware of the dangers of endorsing illegal drugs, but she was led astray by a sponsor. She was sponsored by a company called Intel Pharma that has sold products containing Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMS), which basically are less harmful steroids.
Here's the statement from the UFC, who clearly has their champ's back
"Holly Holm is a great UFC champion and a role model for the sport of mixed martial arts. The UFC organization has not researched the company that is sponsoring Holm, and UFC does not condone any athlete that uses a substance on the World Anti-Doping Agency's Prohibited List."
In a time where performance enhancing drugs are running somewhat rampant in the promotion, this is relatively big news.
Do I think Holly Holm is doping? Not necessarily. However, it's something to take a good hard look at.
Obviously, if Holm was found to be doping it would shake up the bantamweight rankings and it would give Rousey her belt back. I don't think that's happening though...