Unusual bit of protocol from Australia. In the absence of a regulating Athletic Commission, the UFC conducted its own random drug tests for the event. UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Mark Ratner notified Heavy.com today.
MMA Mania commented on how this differed from normal protocol:
The fighters mentioned above were randomly selected. However, athletic commissions (or in this case the UFC) typically test the main event participants and fight night winners, as well as those who have failed drug tests in the past.
The UFC should be lauded for taking it on themselves to perform drug testing in areas where there is no local governing authority compelling it to do so. At the same time, when it takes on this responsibility, the UFC is taking on a good deal of risk along with it.
Zuffa, the company that owns the UFC, has always actively pursued more regulation of the sport as a key part of their branding and strategy. Conducting drug testing themselves when traveling beyond the reach of U.S. authorities is a key part of that strategy.