UFC vice president of regulatory affairs, Marc Ratner, is planning to introduce random and unannounced drug testing for fighters – even when they are not scheduled to compete.
In a report by ESPN, Ratner confirmed plans to begin the process by the end of 2014.
“We are meeting with different companies right now and we’re going to have out-of-competition testing,” Ratner said. “We’re not sure when it’s going to start, but we’re working on it right now.
“Unannounced blood and urine is going to happen, hopefully in the next three or four months. When you’re talking about 500 fighters, there are a lot of logistics. Having fighters in foreign countries makes it tougher, but we’re coming up with a plan and (agencies) are making proposals to us in the next two weeks.”
The UFC has tried to take a stiffer stance in the war against using illegal and banned substances, taking away “Fight Night” bonuses for those that fail tests. They also joined the Nevada Athletic Commission in doing away with TRT.
“The UFC will be randomly testing a percentage of fighters,” Ratner said. “When we decide on this regiment, it’s going to be a big cost but it’s well worth it when we do these out-of-competition tests.”
Earlier this year, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones requested random blood tests before his fight with Glover Teixeira. Georges St-Pierre has taken a stand in regards to doing the random tests, as well many other fighters.
UFC Hall of Fame fighter Stephan Bonnar has signed with Bellator MMA, the promotion announced on Wednesday.
Bonnar, who retired following a loss to Anderson Silva in 2012, has been doing announcing work with Titan FC. He was inducted into the hall of fame alongside Forrest Griffin, as the two were in the finals of the first Ultimate Fighter season.
“I want everyone to know I’m coming out of retirement because it’s time to free the MMA world of the virus that’s known as Tito Ortiz,” Bonnar said in a statement provided by Bellator. “We’ve been suffering through his boring fights for too many years, and it’s about time that someone beats it out of him once and for all.”
Bonnar and Ortiz have exchanged words in the past, but they never crossed paths while both were competing inside the Octagon. Along with competing later this year, Bonnar could also work as an analyst for the promotion.
“Stephan is a guy that has been a huge part of this sport and we are excited have him part of the roster,” Bellator president Scott Coker said in a statement provided by the organization. “He was one half of probably the greatest and one of the most important fights in MMA history, and it happened on Spike. When you look at our light heavyweight division, with names like Rampage (Jackson), Tito, King Mo (Lawal), Emanuel Newton and others, there are a lot of fights Stephan can be involved in. Big fights against big names. After talking to Stephan, I know that’s what he wants, and we want to provide that to our fans.”
Bonnar holds a 15-8 career record, including wins over Kyle Kingsbury, Keith Jardine and James Irvin, while he has also fought the likes of Silva, Jon Jones, Griffin and Mark Coleman.
Ortiz responded to the news on Twitter, posting “Really? Really? I’m going to beat the juice out of you.” Bonnar failed a handful of post-fight drug tests for banned substances while he competed in the UFC.
The latest official UFC fighter rankings have been released, and thanks to a double-event weekend, there was plenty of changes.
In the pound-for-pound Top-15, Chris Weidman and Demetrious Johnson flipped fourth and fifth, while Johny Hendricks passed Ronda Rousey for eighth. Also, Alexander Gustafsson and Daniel Cormier each moved up a spot, and Gilbert Melendez, debuted after Benson Henderson’s loss.
Henderson’s defeat to Rafael dos Anjos caused a stir amongst the lightweight Top-5, as “Smooth” fell from No. 1 to fourth, while Melendez, Khabib Nurmagoemdov and dos Anjos all sit ahead of him.
Thales Leites moved up three spots at middleweight after his win over Francis Carmont, who dropped three spots.
Tyron Woodley moved back ahead of Carlos Condit and into third at welterweight, while Takeya Mizugaki passed Eddie Wineland for fifth at bantamweight.
Ed Soares, manager for former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, believes the decision to pair “The Spider” with Nick Diaz makes complete sense.
“Arguably, these guys are two of the best boxers in mixed martial arts, they both wanted to fight Roy Jones, Jr., they’re both coming off two losses, they both have been out of the ring for over a year,” said Soares, during a recent appearance on Submission Radio, “so it’s just a fight that makes sense.”
Silva suffered a broken leg last December in a rematch for the middleweight title against Chris Weidman. He also lost to Weidman earlier in 2013. Diaz, meanwhile, dropped bouts to former UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre and Carlos Condit before going into a self-imposed retirement.
While many have questioned Silva’s decision to return to the Octagon, Soares believes he can still compete with the best of the best.
“I think he’ll be back and he’ll go as far as he wants to apply himself to,” he said. “I think if anybody can come back from an injury like this and come back and put that title around their waist again, if anybody in the world can do it, it’s Anderson Silva.”
Prior to running into Weidman, the Brazilian often-times appeared uninterested in certain title fights. Soares feels the time away recovering has helped provide a new sense of pride in Silva.
“I think that’s going to be the biggest motivation, just seeing Anderson back to what he once as,” Soares said. “I believe that there got a point in Anderson’s career where maybe subconsciously he forgot what it was like not to be champ, and I think now he’s kind of looking up at that hill realizing that he’s got some more challenges to conquer.”
Silva and Diaz are set for the UFC 183 main event in January from Las Vegas.
Former Strikeforce champion Cung Le never recovered from a nasty jab that left his right eye swollen shut and bleeding, falling to Michael Bisping Saturday at UFC Fight Night 48.
Le, who has competed just a dozen times in his MMA career due to work in films, the loss was a tough one. He did his best to trade verbal jabs with Bisping in the days leading up to the fight, but he was never able to connect much of his patented striking.
“I feel like I did pretty good for a 42-year-old man,” Le said. “Give it up for Bisping. Asian power. I tried to represent.
“He closed my eye up in the first. He was the better man. There was nothing I could do.”
Le, who turned 42 earlier this year, suffered his second loss inside the Octagon and third career defeat via TKO. He was also finished by Wanderlei Silva in his UFC debut in 2011 and lost to Scott Smith in 2009 in Strikeforce.
Channing Tatum, who has starred in movies alongside Le, was in attendance for the fight from Macau, China.