By now you’ve probably heard about the UFC’s big announcement yesterday, in which the promotion confirmed that it will be funding more extensive, random and out-of-competition drug testing, beginning July 1st. In addition, the promotion is calling for harsher penalties to be enacted, as both UFC President Dana White and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta want first time, PED offenders to receive a minimum, two year suspension.
While all the details need to get ironed out–for example, the third party, independent organization, which will be doing the testing hasn’t been announced–it seems like the news is being welcomed by a lot of fighters and insiders.
When asked about the promotion’s call for lengthier suspensions, Dillashaw relayed (quotes via FOX Sports press release):
“To me, I can’t afford to miss more than nine months – for me mentally and my name. It’ll put it in some guys minds that it’s not worth it. I don’t want to be known as a cheater. I’m glad they’re doing this. We’re going to see some changes in some guys – guys who have been on it won’t compete the same again.”
Yes, nine months isn’t that long, especially when you consider a lot of fighters only compete every six months any ways. And what did Rousey have to say about the plans for more testing and harsher punishments?
“I’m really encouraged by it. It’s very serious. I love that they’re doing out of competition testing and everyone on the card. This is getting more similar to what I did growing up, getting randomly tested at all times. The more we’re tested and higher penalties, the happier I am.”
Now it will be interesting to see what unfolds in the coming months, and whether more, high profile names get flagged for PEDs. Turbulent times could be ahead.
All this aside, Dillashaw is booked to fight Renan Barao on April 25th at UFC 186, and Rousey will face Cat Zingano on February 28th at UFC 184.