Ever since Alistair Overeem cost the UFC one of the biggest fights of the year by pissing dirty at his surprise UFC 146 drug test, it seems like Dana White has been a lot more adamant about the necessity of drug testing fighters on a regular basis. Whereas his attitude toward testing could previously be construed along the lines of “we’re doing the best we can, but we can only do so much,” it seems that The Baldfather has really begun to step up his game, so to speak. In fact, during a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, White made a promise that before too long, the UFC will be drug testing fighters themselves in order to try and limit the amount of positive tests per year:
The steroid, [performance-enhancing drug] thing affects the whole sport. The key is to make sure these guys never get on it, because once they do, they change. The problem with Overeem is that I want to sit in a room with him man to man and believe him. He told me before he ever fought for us, ‘Don’t worry, I’m the most tested athlete in sports.’ But I think we have about 42 fights a year … you have a guy or two popping [positive tests] here and there, that’s a pretty good ratio…. Yes, we’re going to do our own testing, order these guys into [a lab]; we’re sorting it out now. You have to do this to save the sport. You can’t have these guys fighting on this stuff.
So there you have it, Potato Nation. It looks like a day may finally come where we don’t have to worry about the Ubereem’s of the world spoiling our mid-summer blockbuster cards. Then again, illegal steroids were sooo last year, nowadays fighter’s just call it “therapy” and we collectively put our heads in the sand.
This statement may come as a bit of a surprise considering White’s somewhat apathetic view on the issue when having to deal with the initial media backlash after Overeem’s positive test. Take this April interview, for example:
“You’re grown men. You’re fucking adults. You’re professional athletes. How man fucking times do you have to be told not to do this; to the point where you just completely blow your entire fucking career?”
This is perhaps the best point made by DW in the above video, in which he also states that, aside from his personal schedule, which is so hectic that it would make your head spin, he has to personally call these fighters to make sure they show up for press conferences and things of that nature. Not only is that a ridiculous notion to consider, but the fact that even after these phone calls, White still can’t get some fighters to show up when and where they’re expected to really gives one a different perspective on the issue.
But what do you think, Potato Nation, how long is it gonna be before we see a cleaner UFC?