Will The New UFC Drug Policy Actually Work or is This Just For Show?
If any of you follow the UFC, also known as the Ultimate Fighting Championship, recently they have been under fire for their athletes testing positive left and right for drugs. For the past few months it seems like at least one fighter on the event card tests positive for some type of drug. Dana White, the president of the UFC and the CEO of the UFC, Lorenzo Fertitta have now announced a new UFC drug policy.
Dana White is known for constantly being on top of the fighters for promoting themselves as classy athletes, not just guys that get into a cage and beat each other up. White wants to break this stigma of fighters not being seen as athletes, which is difficult when fighters are constantly testing positive for drugs, getting into fights, or getting DUI charges. While Dana White always comes out with a statement that he is disappointed with these fighter that test positive before their fights, the UFC never really sets a standard punishment for them and if the do dole out punishments, the favoritism is so apparent is it blinding.
Take for instance, Jon Jones, he tested positive for cocaine before his fight. The UFC could have and should pulled him from the fight immediately, but they did not. Why you might ask? Well Jon Jones was defending his title and it was a big name fight, worth lots of money. So Jones was allowed to fight, defend his title, and take home the belt once again. Then the news of his test was made public and Dana just wanted him to get help, which is true. Using cocaine before a fight, when you know you are going to get drug tested is serious concern. Eventually, Jones was fined, but was able to keep his belt and is fighting again in May.
Another example of why the new UFC drug policy needs to be made is the Nick Diaz and Anderson Silva fight. Nick Diaz is known for having one of the top records for most strikes thrown in UFC statistic, at 1,616 strikes landed. Diaz is also known for marijuana use and speaks freely about doing so. It was quite a shock when the drug tests came back and Silva, a former champion and once known as the best pound for pound fighter, tested positive for steroids. Everyone was in shock, and it seemed like no punishment would be given, but then the results for Diaz came back positive for marijuana. The fight was then ruled as a no contest.
This behavior puts the UFC in a bad place, especially because it is not the newcomers that are testing positive, it is the older fighters and champions. The UFC announced that starting July 1, 2015 the new drug policy will take place and punishments will be more severe, there will be more random drug tests, and they will be using a reputable drug testing agency.