One of the more common talking points in MMA is drug testing. Specifically the sport is going through a time where TRT is not only legal, it is used by some of the most renowned athletes the sport has. The UFC has said time and again that they rigorously test any fighter who is prescribed TRT.
TRT is not the only drug issue in MMA today, as we have recently seen a string of failed tests due to marijuana usage. PED’s are also a burgeoning issue that the UFC wants to cut off at the source. The way to end cheating and PED usage is by effectively testing fighters. The issue at hand, however, is that these tests are quite costly.
The UFC has put their best foot forward in their testing policy to make sure MMA fighters are clean when they step inside the Octagon. In the nature of the sport, PED’s are not only cheating, but they are extremely dangerous. That is why UFC CEO, Lorenzo Fertitta, in a Yahoo Sports interview, personally offered financial assistance with commissions to have any contracted UFC fighter tested whenever the commission sees fit.
Yahoo Sports apparently asked NSAC chairman, Francisco Aguilar, to comment on Fertitta’s offer of financial assistance and this is what he had to say (Courtesy of BloodyElbow):
All that has ever been communicated to us from Lorenzo, Lawrence [Epstein, the UFC's chief operating officer] and Marc [Ratner, its vice president of regulatory affairs] is that they’re in favor of testing. At no point has the UFC ever pushed back on any testing request we’ve made. We just did an enhanced testing program with Travis Browne and Josh Barnett for their fight [in December at UFC 168] and the UFC was fully supportive and did what we asked. Not only haven’t they pushed back, they’ve been the opposite. They’ve told us they’ve been open to any and all testing and would gladly pay for whatever tests we wanted to do.
If the Fertitta’s and the UFC are so focused on driving PED’s and drug usage out of the sport that they are willing to put their own money on the line, fans can rest assured that the sport is in good hands. Only time will tell regarding whether or not more stringent testing policies will come as a result of the financial assistance the UFC provides.