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Ronda Rousey ‘extremely encouraged’ by new UFC drug testing proposal

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Ronda Rousey has been one of the most outspoken critics of the current PED crisis in mixed martial arts. The UFC women's bantamweight champion grew up under the rigorous spotlight of Olympic anti-doping testing, so it's no surprise to hear how pleased she was about the UFC's landscape-altering announcement on Wednesday, which will see the promotion implement an extensive out-of-competition drug testing program in an effort to curb the scourge of PEDs in professional fighting.

"I'm extremely encouraged with what I've heard the announcement is," Rousey said on UFC 184's conference call. "To my point, the drug testing I underwent when I was 16, or even 14, was much more stringent than the drug testing that I got as a world champion in MMA.

"But now that they have started the random out-of-competition drug testing for everybody on the roster, as well as everybody who competes on every card, it's really starting to become comparable to the US Anti-Doping Agency's (policy). I think that USADA is an extremely great model to follow and I'm also very happy to see that there's going to be third-party drug testing as well. The more testing there is, the better it is, because that means the safer that the fighters will be."

Under the UFC's new proposal, which was announced by top executives at a special press conference Wednesday in Las Vegas, all 500+ fighters on the roster will be subjected to random, year-round, out-of-competition drug testing, as well as mandatory, out-of-competition drug testing for main event and championship fighters. Both UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta and president Dana White also advocated for increased suspensions for first-time drug offenders, ranging anywhere from two to four years -- a significant change from the nine-month suspensions regularly handed out by the Nevada Athletic Commission.

The news comes on the heels of a series of high-profile drug failures, underscored by Anderson Silva's multiple positive tests for his UFC 183 comeback against Nick Diaz.

The UFC's new proposal will go into effect on July 1, well after Rousey's upcoming Feb. 28 title fight against Cat Zingano, however both Rousey and Zingano have already been tested out-of-competition by the California State Athletic Commission. Results have yet to come back on those tests, though when asked if she believes she's fought opponents juiced to gills with PEDs before, Rousey didn't mince her words.

"You know what, I really don't care," she said. "I assumed that a lot during the Olympics. I assumed that every single one of these girls is probably on all kinds of juice and they've every single opportunity in the world that I never, ever had. They had better development, they had better coaching, they had better scouting, they had everything. I assumed that they had every single advantage in the world that I didn't, and I used that as a reason to beat them in spite of it, because I need to be better on my very worst day than they could possibly ever be with every single advantage that possibly exists that I don't have."

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