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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Simon Samano and Ken Hathaway

‘Don’t play with my name’: UFC’s Bobby Green fired up about USADA suspension tarnishing reputation

LAS VEGAS – Bobby Green arrived at UFC Fight Night 216 media day with a lot to get off his chest. He walked up on the dais and grabbed the microphone before knocking over a Monster water bottle that was standing on the table in front of him. After that, he looked up to the ceiling and took a deep breath.

Then he went off.

“I’ve been chastised. I’ve been villainized,” Green told reporters at the UFC Apex before he could be asked a question. “I’ve been anymore of those ‘ized’ [sic] I can come up with – scrutinized – talking about this, that, drugs. Drugs? I fought everybody, I think maybe two people with more than 30 days’ (notice). There’s no way I can be on drugs. Don’t play with my name. I’m not that guy. If you think that I would do – play with my public [sic]. I’ve never lied to none of my public ever. I don’t tell lies. Only lies I tell is to the woman I lay with, you know, because she can’t deal with the truth. Besides her, I don’t tell no lies. I don’t tell no lies to my homies, and I definitely don’t lie to my public.”

The reason for Green’s diatribe is obvious: He doesn’t appreciate how his reputation has been tarnished since October when it was revealed that he accepted a six-month suspension from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency after he tested positive for a banned substance. Green’s system contained dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), which he ingested from an over-the-counter supplement.

The positive test and suspension resulted in Green’s removal from his UFC 276 bout with Jim Miller a week before it was scheduled to take place. He was suspended just six months because he cooperated with USADA’s investigation and “provided evidence” that he didn’t knowingly take the banned substance.

While Green admits that he “f*cked up,” it’s that last part that he wishes everyone understood so as not to lump him in a category with cheaters.

“That’s the No. 1 question that everyone keeps asking me is about some f*cking drugs,” Green said. “I’m not T.J. (Dillashaw). I am not that one. Don’t play with me.”

Green essentially attributed his dirty urine sample to ignorance. He said he knew to stay away from stores like GNC, which specialize in selling nutritional supplements, but he “had no idea that you could find something (to test positive for) at Walmart.”

“Not behind the counters, not anything that I have to ask a doctor or someone for. No, the same thing that a kid could get or go steal. It’s right there in the vitamin section,” Green said. “There’s Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and this other thing right there says DHEA. I don’t know what that was, but I’m watching these videos with this guy named Dr. Eric Berg. Look him up on YouTube, and he’s all about health.

“I’m getting old, guys. To be this consistent, to be this great, I’ve got to start doing some things – and not no drugs, OK? I would never ever play with you. I’m all about health, OK? If that means I can clean my liver, clean my kidneys, maybe remove some plaque out of my arteries, I’m all for it to help me keep going. But besides that, stop playing with me. I don’t do anything like this. I would never play with you. I would never ever play with anybody like that in this sport. Don’t confuse me with those guys.”

Green said he “broke down crying” when he got the call from USADA about his test results. He wishes people would understand that he’d never knowingly try to cheat given his rough upbringing and everything he’s overcome to spend 14 years as a professional fighter and nine with the UFC.

“You know how hard I worked to get to this one point, to get to this one point where a black man like – all I wanted in life was to have a home that nobody could take from me.”

Green (29-13-1 MMA, 10-8-1 UFC), 36, returns Saturday in a lightweight bout against Drew Dober (25-11 MMA, 11-7 UFC) at the UFC Apex. Despite the suspension, it’ll be Green’s third fight of 2022. That’s because back in February he fought twice within a span of two weeks, beating Nasrat Haqparast by unanimous decision and then losing by first-round TKO to now-champion Islam Makhachev in his first UFC headliner.

Given Green’s unexpected long layoff and the criticism he’s faced, he’s ready to get back to work.

“Some people were saying I was cut, I got dropped from the roster. Surprise! Surprise! I’m still here,” Green said. “I ain’t going nowhere unless I choose to go. At the end of the day, it don’t matter how it feels or all those feelings. … I got work to do. And that’s all I focus on is the work. I let y’all do the talking, and I’ll do the fighting. I let my fighting speak.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 216.

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