UFC co-owner, Lorenzo Fertitta recently stated that he is in favor of random drug testing in MMA in order to clean up the sport. Fertitta also stated that the initiative must be led by the athletic commissions, and not by the UFC.
Commissions have the ability to randomly test fighters, but often do not have the funds to do so. Fertitta, in a recent interview with ESPN, said that he and the UFC are willing to pay for the tests, but are wary of creating their own in house program to do so:
I think we have to understand at the end of the day we are unlike other sports. We are regulated and cannot be presumptuous in thinking we can just take away whatever authority [commissions] have and put it in our hands. It’s not that simple.
You have to understand how state regulatory systems work. You have to work in conjunction with them. They issue us a license in order to promote events. It’s not like we’re putting on events on our own. We’re under their jurisdiction.
If you recall, former longtime UFC Welterweight champion, Georges St-Pierre has criticized the UFC for not including a third party testing organization like VADA. Fertitta responds:
VADA has no jurisdiction over a fight. Whether a fight takes place, suspensions, a fighter license — it’s all relative to the commission. I don’t want to put words in their mouth, but they don’t want to be in a situation where a third party has done testing, they have no idea what happened and are then put in a position where they have to render a decision on something they had nothing to do with.
The commission is more than willing to test for whatever [banned substances]. Georges just wants to make sure they are adhering to the level of a VADA, which I think clearly can be put into place. That’s not a problem.
Clearly the UFC wants the sport to be clean, now it is just a matter of the commissions following suit. FanSided will keep you up to date when any new information is made available.