clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Dana White: 'No business upside to USADA policy, but right thing for UFC and its fighters'

Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White is willing to spend several million dollars to suspend some of his top mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters. That doesn't read like a smart business plan, but this isn't about good business, it's about doing what's right for the athletes.

Assuming you take his comments at face value.

White was a guest on UFC Tonight last Wednesday (June 3, 2015), explaining his decision to partner with United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), who will serve as the independent administrator for the promotion's new drug-testing policy.

His words:

"There’s no business upside, but a massive upside for the sport. It’s the right thing for the sport and for the athletes. If you take a kid who has a ton of potential and get him on PEDs, you destroy him mentally, physically and emotionally. This is the right move for the sport. There’s nothing like it in professional sports. It’s the toughest in all of professional sports. If you say you care about the athletes, this is what you do. I don’t think anyone expected us to do this or saw this coming. This would never have happened with a union."

Straight from the horse's mouth:

Is UFC doing the right thing?

Hard to say. While it's certainly a step in the right direction, part of me wonders if this "massive upside for the sport" would even be happening if UFC wasn't still wiping egg from its face after two of its biggest stars, Jon Jones and Anderson Silva, failed a pair of drug tests.

Reactive as opposed to proactive, and all that jazz.

Nevertheless, fighters will be subjected to unannounced, year-round, in- and out-of-competition drug testing (blood and urine) beginning July 1, 2015, modeled on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code. In addition, UFC will have no involvement and no decision-making authority over the program.

Should be an interesting summer.

For much more on the promotion's new USADA drug-testing policy and procedures, including potential punishments, click here.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania