drug testing, jon jones

The Change in the UFC with Drug Testing

The drug testing has changed the UFC to a great extent and so the destiny of the most famous fighters. The history reveals that drug intake was the major reason for many fighters to win the top titles. That was clearly an injustice to those who were not habitual of intaking drugs in the past and were honestly following rules. As a result, honest fighters were not able to win the titles and that lead to an extremely unjust situation in the UFC. Luckily this is not a case anymore, as drug test has changed the overall scenario. Now it is not as simple as before when fighters used to intake drugs, put on gear, and nail the fight.

Remedial Steps for Overcoming Drug Intake Issue of the Fighters

The Nevada commission in the year 2014 banned TRT. After that, in the year 2015, UFC had a partnership with the United States Anti-Doping Agency with the sole purpose of monitoring the testing program. Jeff Novitzky who is the UFC’s vice president of athlete health and performance assured that they have done this partnership to overcome the issue of drug intake and this program will prove to be the best program as it is quite comprehensive. After this, many top fighters had a decline in their careers. The famous example is of Vitor Belfort who stopped taking drugs after these remedial steps and as a result, he got knocked out in less than 3 minutes by Chris Weidman. It shows that winning a fight is no more as easy as wearing shorts and heading towards the ring.

What Happened After Drug Testing?

USADA started drug testing and caught many cheaters who were winning the fights by relying on drugs. 87 UFC fighters were caught in drug tests, which is undoubtedly a huge number. As a result, the schedule of events had to be changed. On the other hand, top fighters had a decline and either they were not able to participate in a fight due to drug test failures or if they got the test cleared, they were badly knocked out. This shows that there had been an uneven field for this sport that caused many talented and powerful fighters to lose the top titles in the past. Luckily, this scenario has been changed and this sport is now fairer than before.

Famous Fighters Who Faced Decline After Drug Testing

When it comes to famous fighters whose careers were almost ended because of the introduction of drug testing, Vitor Belfort is on the top. He was about to become the fighter of the decade when in 2013, he lost three consecutive fights. His career was faded out, as he had to go under a testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) and he could not sustain his career without a drug intake. Before this, he actually defeated Jon Jones and put him in a condition where he could hardly survive. This was a significant event in history, as no other fighter was put in such trouble ever before. However, Jones made a comeback but still couldn’t succeed against Belfort. Later, it was found what was the actual reason for Belfort’s heart-wrenching performance.

Unfortunately, Belfort is not the only one who was using drugs. To a surprise, it was found that around 15 professional MMA fighters between the years 2007 to 2013 were found to have used drugs for performance enhancement.


Later, some fighters used their financial resources to betray the drug-testing system and made their ways to success. Various adjustments were made afterward, which were in the favor of players. However, after various changes, a balance act is going on that aims to respect the privacy of the players while maintaining fairness and transparency. However, we cannot neglect that independently run drug testing program has actually given a different direction to UFC and has changed the game significantly. The introduction of the drug-testing system has divided the history of UFC into two major parts that define the past and the present of UFC.

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Staff Report