Even though a disagreement over voluntary independent third-party out-of-competition drug testing sent former Welterweight champion, Georges St-Pierre, packing (among other personal issues) after his controversial win over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 in Nov. 2013, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was not deterred from giving it another shot.
Perhaps because both fighters, Jon Jones and Glover Teixeira, are on the same page and "don't look dumb."
Earlier this afternoon, Jones revealed at a mixed martial arts (MMA) media day held at his gym, Jackson's MMA in Albuquerque, N.M., that he requested -- and received -- additional drug testing ahead of his Light Heavyweight title defense against Teixeira in the main event of UFC 172, which takes place at Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Md., on April 26, 2014.
It was the first, and to hear him tell it, hopefully not the last, visit from an independent laboratory chosen by Maryland State Athletic Commission.
He explains (transcribed from the video above):
"Maryland's commission sent a lab to drug test me and I'm glad they did. It was urine and blood, a test for HGH, I think, and a urine test that can detect all sorts of other stuff. It was something that me and my management team asked for several months ago because we thought it would be great to make sure everyone was playing fair in this fight. I'm not accusing my opponent of anything, but it would just be great to see and the UFC approved it. They never told me or Glover when the test would come, but mine came today, and I'm happy that it came. It's great to know that the athletes who are competing are clean. I've never taken any kind of performance-enhancing drug and I don't think any of my opponents should. I've probably fought people in the past who have, and I still found a way to come out and win. I want to see our sport be a clean sport, I want to see our athletes have pride in hard work and that's why I though I'd put my money where my mouth is…. I have no right to accuse [Glover Teixeira] of being on anything. But, I know when people get chances to fight for world titles, maybe they'll do anything to get an edge. And I think the only edge you should have is your work ethic."
Neither Jones nor Teixeira have ever tested positive for banned substances, including PEDs and recreational drugs, among others, in their professional combat sports careers. However, with so much on the line -- and with both fighters enjoying ridiculous success (Jones has won 10, really 20, straight, while Teixeira has bagged 20 in a row) -- as well as a world title, it seems it's better to be safe than dirty.
In addition to the pre-fight screening, Jones and Teixeira will also be required to provide samples immediately after their fight, one that appears well on the way to being free of artificial controversy.