According to UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta the random drug testing of fighters is set to become more of a standard practice. Prior to UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones' random testing reported last week, the process was reserved more for past offenders. With neither Jones or his UFC 172 opponent Glover Teixeira having a proven history of performance enhancing drug use, the pair could serve as a preview of things to come.
Speaking with Sports Illustrated's Jeff Wagenheim, Fertitta says meager commission budgets will no longer be an excuse for lack of proper testing now that the UFC is footing the bill.
"[Athletic commissions] just don't have the resources to handle random testing because there's a lot more that goes into how it's done," says Fertitta. "In order for the program to be successful, it truly needs to be random and it needs to be pretty in-depth.
"We have nothing to do with the testing other than they send us a bill to pay for it. That's it," he said. "It's all done third party, all done the right way. They get the results sent directly to them and then they deal with the situation, the fighter. It's out of our hands."
As for the company's renewed enthusiasm for additional testing, Fertitta denies any correlation between the new initiatives and disgruntled former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. The promotional star let it be known he wasn't impressed with the UFC's status quo in regard to testing, naming it as a key factor in his decision to take a hiatus from the sport.
"We had a very, very good conversation about what his concerns were," said Fertitta. "We kind of got all of that out on the table. I think it was pretty clear to him, hopefully, that we embrace it. We want to make sure that we have the highest standard of any sport. So I think we're on the same page as Georges."
Damage control or not, the changes St-Pierre campaigned for look to be coming one way or another.
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Free fight: Jon Jones vs. Maurício Rua at UFC 128.
Open workouts in Abu Dhabi.
Inside MMA viewer submissions.
This guy's knee did not get a warm MMA welcome from Minowaman.
More money...— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) April 8, 2014
Get well soon.
After talking to the orthopedic surgeon, we've decided surgery will give the best result. So surgery is for tomorrow. Keep ya posted!— Holly Holm (@_HOLLYHOLM) April 8, 2014
Reading lots that I'm already cleared. My doc in Holland cleared me but still a couple last things to take care off, so fingers crossed..— Stefan Struve (@StefanStruve) April 8, 2014
I suffered a rib injury & it forced me to withdrawal from this fight. I wouldn't of been able to put on a good fight. I will return ASAP.— Evan Dunham (@evandunham155) April 8, 2014
Cris Cyborg on possible Holly Holm PPV.
" I like holly holm's she is a great boxer- but neither myself nor my manager has spoken to anyone about a fight... http://t.co/zd5yvjauUY— Cris Cyborg (@criscyborg) April 8, 2014
Don't hurt yourselves selling this fight.
Amanda Nunes (@Amanda_Leoa) April 8, 2014
I'm out, Nunes is out.....@mmasarah wins this via voodoo!— Shayna Baszler (@QoSBaszler) April 8, 2014
Baszler out. Nunes out. Leslie smith is in!!! 3rd opponent for April 16 is locked in. Feeling great and excited to put on a show :) #ufc— Sarah Kaufman (@mmasarah) April 9, 2014
Leslie Smith (@LeslieSmith_GF) April 9, 2014
Barking up the wrong tree.
In case any one is interested I'm still not interested in men. From some of my private messages it seems like I need to refresh your memory.— LIZ CARMOUCHE (@iamgirlrilla) April 9, 2014
Anyone want to buy a ticket to Brazil to hold a UFC Heavyweight's hand because he is scared of flying? Asking for a friend...— Stipe Miocic (@smiocic) April 8, 2014
Check out my 6th amateur fight and several of my others at my youtube channel http://t.co/8eS5FrTKDy— Cole Miller (@colemillerATT) April 9, 2014
Announced yesterday (Apr. 8 2014)
Mark Bocek vs. Mike De La Torre at TUF Nations Finale
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via Da Headbanger.
Anybody else enjoy the break from the UFC? If you didn't, I've got good news! Over the span of 16 days, starting on the 11th, there are gonna be 4 UFC events. So get ready to feast!
A pretty solid Fight Pass undercard took a hit when it lost the Alp Ozkilic-Dustin Ortiz scrap, but the five fights left provide enough intrigue. Enough to make you go out and buy Fight Pass if you haven't already? No... but if you already own it there is no reason not to watch.
There are a couple of prospects that have enough promise that I could see them entering the rankings before you know it (I'm not gonna give a time frame) and even a former title challenger. Now the appetizer is done, dig in to the main course:
A couple of big boys relatively new to the company go head-to-head in a division in desperate need of some new blood in the rankings. Either one could potentially break in there by the end of the year.
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.