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USADA sending doping control officers to UFC 249

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UFC - AURORA Partnership Press Conference Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is sending doping control officers to the upcoming UFC 249: “Ferguson vs. Gaethje” pay-per-view (PPV) event on May 9, 2020, taking place inside VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.

As promised.

That means athletes competing in “The Sunshine State” can expect pre- and post-fight drug testing for what marks the promotion’s first major mixed martial arts (MMA) event since UFC Brasilia roughy one month back.

“As we’ve stated, testing at UFC events is an essential part of a fair fight,” USADA officials told MMA Fighting. “We will have doping control officers at UFC 249, and will do everything in our power to conduct testing at future events, of course taking appropriate precautions to protect the health and safety of everyone involved.”

The coronavirus pandemic has made surprise drug testing a difficult task for USADA, as most of the world has been under quarantine for the last several weeks in an effort to maintain social distancing and “flatten the curve.”

Kinda hard to accomplish with some creep at your door asking for a urine sample.

Fortunately for USADA, it can set up shop in Jacksonville for the next three events, as UFC will try to cram a trio of fight cards into a span of 10 days to make up for lost time, starting with the Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje title fight a week from Sat. night.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 249 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN+/Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN+/ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 249: “Ferguson vs. Gaethje” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.