MMA Odds and Ends for Friday: USADA Testing Picking Up Steam

USADAIt seems that the UFC’s new drug-testing program, and its partner USADA have been quietly getting to work. It was released on Wednesday that 50 fighters have been tested through the new program since July 1st, with 81 tests being administered in total. The list of tested fighters is available via USADA’s website, and it is a curious one. While testing a fighter like Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva four times makes complete sense given his previous positive test for testosterone and TRT use, why test Ronda Rousey five times? Thiago Alves — who tested positive for a diuretic back in 2006 — has also been tested four times, which seems a bit excessive since the only drug he was ever caught for was a weight-cutting aid, not something taken throughout training camp. There are obviously some notable omissions from the list as well. Former flyweight title challenger Ali Bagautinov tested positive for EPO in his UFC 174 bout with Demetrious Johnson, and after serving his suspension for that infraction fights again this weekend at UFC 192. He has not been tested under the new policy. The new policy is still in its nascency, and over time I’m sure that USADA will get around to the entire roster. However, it’s surprising that there was no priority list created to test fighters who have previously tested positive as soon as possible. Proximity to fight should be another important factor in the early going until the program really gets up and running as well. Speaking to that, only the fighters in the top three bouts at UFC 192 have been tested heading into the weekend. Hopefully these are just small kinks in a new system and USADA gets them worked out moving forward, but overall the program is a great start for those who want to see extensive drug-testing in MMA. Me? Well give me the roided up superhumans of PRIDE, thank you very much. Another piece of non-fight news from yesterday which could prove extremely interesting was a decision in the anti-trust lawsuit against the UFC that they must provide copies of their business records to the plaintiff’s lawyers. These records would still likely remain private, but for the UFC — who has been guarded about their financials for years — to have to provide that information is a big step towards transparency in the financial realm of MMA. Finally, BJ Penn thinks that in his current state he could beat Nik Lentz. Ha! Also, please don’t make that fight happen. Nobody needs to see BJ Penn fight again.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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