Morning Report: UFC raises marijuana testing threshold, NSAC considers stricter testosterone regulations

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Dave Herman, Thiago Silva, Matt Riddle, Alex Caceres, and most recently, Pat Healy; the list of UFC fighters to vacate wins off their record, forfeit money from their fight purse, and lose precious time on suspension seemingly grows longer after every event, solely because of positive tests for marijuana. It's a broken system, but fortunately it's one the UFC is taking steps to repair.

Effective last Friday, UFC officials raised the testing threshold for marijuana metabolites from 50 ng/mL to 150 ng/mL, following in the footsteps of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

"When we self-regulate around the world, we are going to go the WADA standard of 150," said UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner. "So we're starting that immediately."

The decision, revealed by Ratner and first reported by MMA Junkie, will take effect for all UFC regulated international events, including events held in Brazil, and is intended to lighten the previously restrictive protocols that were just as likely to catch fighters entering the ring high as much as those who used marijuana weeks before a fight.

Likewise, "preliminary talks seem to indicate" a recommendation will be sent for the Nevada State Athletic Commission to consider raising its own testing threshold from 50 ng/mL to 150 ng/mL, as discussed by the NSAC Steroid and Drug Testing Advisory Panel.

"It could be 10 years from now when the commission will say it's not the right number, or two years from now, because I can easily see where that would change," said panel member Dr. James Nave. "Maybe it's 400. ... It's a different ballgame now. Society is different and everything is different."

In addition, the Panel deliberated over several proposals to revise the NSAC's policy on testing for performance enhancing drugs, including considerations to lower the legal testosterone-to-epitestosterone level from 6:1 to 4:1, as well as "the addition of testing for human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), recommendations to require a hematologic passport (or hematocrit) and the requirement for out-of-competition tests to include both urine and blood samples."

According to the report, an official proposal is expected to be drafted within the next few weeks and introduced to the NSAC in July.

"I want to commend the committee," Ratner said in closing. "This goes along with the UFC's thinking, as well as my own, that we're moving progressively to the future, and times are changing."

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7 MUST-READ STORIES

UFC drug testing. The UFC raised the testing threshold for marijuana metabolites from 50 ng/mL to 150 ng/mL for all self-regulated international events, according to a report from MMA Junkie. Additionally, the Nevada State Athletic Commission discussed several "suggestions for revisions to the commission's policy on performance-enhancing drugs," including more stringent drug testing and the lowering of legal testosterone-to-epitestosterone levels.

ONE FC 9 results. Koji Oishi knocked out Honorio Banario to sieze the ONE FC featherweight title, Bibiano Fernandes outpointed Koetsu Okazaki to earn the ONE FC interim bantamweight strap, and former UFC champion Tim Sylvia fell victim to a third-round doctor's stoppage against Tony Johnson at ONE FC 9. For complete event results, check here.

Jones vs. Gustafsson. Swedish light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson expects to be offered a title fight against UFC champ Jon Jones "very soon." Said Gustafsson: "I'm really hoping for it, and I think I will get the fight. ... Nothing is set or signed, though."

UFC bookings. UFC officials announced a slew of fight announcements for the promotion's upcoming summer schedule, including Carlos Condit vs. Martin Kampmann, Conor McGregor vs. Andy Ogle and Uriah Hall vs. Nick Ring. Additionally, an injury forced Antonio Rogerio Nogueira out of his UFC 161 bout against Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, but in case you were wondering, Chael Sonnen has already nominated himself as a replacement.

Jenkins signs. Lightweight prospect and 2011 NCAA wrestling champion Bubba Jenkins inked a multi-fight deal with Bellator MMA. "Bubba's development will be strategic and disciplined, taking all appropriate preliminary steps prior to his facing the rigors of the toughest tournament in sports," said Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney.

2013 IBJJF World Championships. Catch up with results, video, and play-by-play for one of the biggest Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournaments of the year, the 2013 IBJJF Mundials.

Chandler gets new challenger. An ACL injury forced season seven tournament winner Dave Jansen to withdraw from a scheduled title fight against Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler, which was expected to headline Bellator 96. As a result, season eight tournament winner David Rickels jumps to the front of the line and will the challenge Chandler in the main event of Bellator 97.

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MEDIA STEW

If you have the time today, I'd highly recommend you check this out. Knuckle: "An epic 12-year journey into the brutal and secretive world of Irish Traveler bare-knuckle fighting. This film follows a history of violent feuding between rival clans."

(HT: Reddit)

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You're cold-blooded if you can watch this Cat Zingano update without feeling even the tiniest bit bad for the woman. TUF 18 would've been such a career-changing opportunity.

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The 540 hook kick: Think "Showtime" can pull it off, folks?

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Braulio Estima battled Sergio Machado in his first match at the 2013 IBJJF Worlds, and it didn't take long for him to pull off this slick little thing of beauty.

(HT: Bloody Elbow)

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Even without audio, this Jose Aldo throwback clip is probably the most savage thing you'll see all day. The UFC featherweight division is thankful soccer kicks are forbidden.

(HT: MiddleEasy)

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And keeping with the throwback theme, let's all feel bad for Jesse Fujarczyk -- the first man to ever fight Cain Velasquez.

(HT: Reddit)

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SOMEONE WANTS IN

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RIVALRY BREWING

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FIGHT PROMOTER DIAZ

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BIG MOVES

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ONE LEG IS INJURED, ONE ISN'T. CAN YOU TELL THE DIFFERENCE?

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OH, MIGUEL

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I GOT $5 ON BIRDMAN

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GAME OF THRONES IS A CRUEL BEAST

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THIS IS ONE HELL OF A SPORT

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced over the weekend (Friday, May 31, 2013 - Sunday, June 2, 2013):

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day sees Steve Borchardt return with: A Dog's Life: A Look Back at the UFC Career of Forrest Griffin (Part 1 of 2)

Forrest Griffin stood in the middle of the Octagon a beaten man. At least he was according to the scorecards of two out of three judges who watched his UFC 59 co-main event battle with Tito Ortiz from ringside.

The crowd in attendance at Anaheim's Arrowhead Pond, however, saw things differently. Griffin had survived a steady diet of ground and pound elbows from Ortiz in the first round only to come back and control the second and much of the third with an aggressive standup attack. As far as the fans in the building were concerned, Griffin's unexpected rally in the later rounds was enough win the fight for the scrappy underdog.

Griffin also seemed to believe he had it in the bag. Before the decision was announced he looked like he had the energy of a downed power line crackling through his veins as he paraded around the ring in celebration and, riding a massive adrenaline rush, yelled, "I could go five more rounds! F--k yeah!"

Before the words were even out of his mouth the crowed erupted in cheers.

That's when things got truly wild. A crazed Griffin began repeatedly falling to the ground and demonstrating his sprawl with a frenzy that brought to mind the old Ric Flair gimmick of dropping a series of elbows on his suit jacket in a show of disdain for his opponent's skills. At that point if Griffin had decided to run for mayor of Anaheim, he would have had the vote of everyone in the arena.

So naturally when these people saw referee John McCarthy raise Ortiz's hand in victory they expressed their outrage by pelting the Octagon with a hailstorm of boos. The bass-voiced precipitation didn't let up when Ortiz did an in-cage interview with color commentator Joe Rogan.

For his part Griffin seemed at peace with the result, despite his jubilation just minutes before.

"I never said I was that good," a fired up Griffin told Rogan. "But there's nobody in this sport at 205 you put me in with and I won't make it a fight. That's just the way I am. I'm just a dog. I fight. Period."

Upon hearing those words the fans in the arena let out a pop that sounded like 13,814 bottles of champagne being opened simultaneously. Griffin may not have received his winner's purse that night, but he gained something worth a lot more in the long run: he cemented a bond with fans that would buoy him up near the top of the card for the rest of his career.

His performance against the former champion Ortiz showed Griffin could breathe the rarefied air near the top of the UFC's light heavyweight division without choking. Even more importantly, Griffin's spirited promo after the fight assured fans they could count on him to do his damnedest to live up to those oft-repeated cliches about "leaving it all in the Octagon" and "making the fight a war."

At the time few believed he was the type of fighter who would ever capture a world title, but on that night back in April of 2006 Forrest Griffin cemented his status as the UFC's unofficial people's champ.

Much, much more after the jump...

Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.

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