Exploratory study on illegal pharmacologic agents in mixed martial arts performance

Exploratory study on illegal pharmacologic agents in mixed martial arts performance = Estudo exploratório sobre agentes farmacológicos ilegais no desempenho em artes marciais mistas / Ciro José Brito, Rayssa Lodi Mozer, Erasmo Montes Assis de Bem, Pedro Henrique Berbert de Carvalho, Andréia Cristiane Carrenho Queiroz, Fábio dal Bello, Lindsei Brabec Mota Barreto, Bianca Miarka. - (Revista Brasileira de Cineantropometria 20 (2018) 3; p. 269-279)

  • DOI: 10.5007/1980-0037.2018v20n3p269


Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a combat sport that requires maximum physical effort during competitions. In this context, some athletes can use illicit substances in order to improve their performance. By means of paired analysis, the present study compared the motor actions of athletes who had failed an anti-doping test versus their performance in combat against a winner or loser without doping presence. For this, 267 rounds (male and female) were analyzed in professional matches. The rounds were paired by athletes in the conditions: doping, winning and losing. Motor actions were analyzed through a specific and previously-validated protocol. Of the substances detected, anabolic androgenic steroids represented 55% (p≤0.001). Doped athletes had lower pause time (83.4±68.3 vs. 131.7±95.2, p≤0.001) and longer time at high-intensity (85.2±86.6 vs. 51.2±73.3, p=0.002) compared to the losing condition. Regarding the technical-tactical analysis in standing combat, winning presented a higher mean compared to doping in all variables except for Knockdowns (p=0.08), single body strikes landed (p=0.15), single leg strikes landed (p=0.25) and single strike attempts (p=0.4). In conclusion, athletes who tested positive presented higher performance in the physical variables (effort and pause time) in comparison to the losing condition; however, doping did not reflect in better technical-tactical performance.

Original document


Research / Study
20 June 2018
Barreto, Lindsei Brabec, Mota
Bello, Fábio
Bem, Erasmo Montes Assis
Brito, Ciro José
Carvalho, Pedro Henrique Berbert
Miarka, Bianca
Mozer, Rayssa Lodi
Queiroz, Andréia Cristiane Carrenho
Mixed Martial Arts
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Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora (UFJF) - Federal University of Juiz de Fora
Medical terms
Substance use research
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Scientific article
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Pdf file
Date generated
4 May 2021
Date of last modification
28 May 2021
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