When the UFC announced in 2015 that they were partnering with each other many people applauded the idea. At that time the sport was having far too many questions swirling around fighters and camps about doping and performance-enhancing drugs and this was seen as an answer to that.
The only problem is as we look back on what was once a promising relationship, we now are seeing that it may be nothing more than a front for the UFC to appear as if they cared in the first place.
The latest instance of this mirage that the UFC cares about and that USADA is cleaning up the sport is broken up by Conor McGregor.
If you look at the UFC’s anti-doping policy, a fighter who leaves the pool and re-enters must spend six months of ineligibility in the pool before competing again in the Octagon. Former Perfect example of this is when Henry Cejudo retired and had to complete that six-month waiting period after coming out of it earlier this year.
The UFC can grant an exception and have a fighter come back sooner, which it has done in the past. What they are doing with McGregor though is appearing as nothing more than a scrambled mess with how it is handled.
No one is accusing McGregor of doping or using any sort of illegal drugs under the USADA umbrella but you can’t help but notice the extreme changes his body is taking while he is away from the octagon.
While McGregor isn’t being tested, despite still being an active fighter and ranked at number 14 at lightweight, there is an even worse instance of the UFC and USADA moving the goalposts.
Jump in the time machine to when we were enjoying UFC 232 fight week at the end of 2018. That whole event had to be moved because of a failed drug test by Jon Jones during that fight week.
The UFC and USADA found “picograms” of the M3 metabolite which triggered the positive test but when they tested the week after they said there had been no new drugs entered into his system. That doesn’t mean they weren’t in his system when he fought and defeated Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 but it shows again that USADA cannot be taken seriously.
USADA and the UFC need to answer and keep this all public if they want to be taken seriously. Yes, they post who has tests taken and who earns their cute jackets but that isn’t enough. If they truly care about keeping the sport clean then they need to establish rules, not move around them, just because they are their own body.
If they don’t want to do that then I want Bob Sapp versus James Thompson to headline the next UFC Apex card where they both look like they are Bane cosplayers.