With a long history of failed tests, it should have come as no surprise to UFC Heavyweight Josh Barnett that he'd have to jump through a few hoops before being granted a license by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for the first time since 2006. At a recent meeting, the NSAC granted Barnett a license provided he submit to a WADA-certified drug testing program leading up to the bout.
In addition to Barnett undergoing the testing program, MMA Junkie confirmed today that his opponent at UFC 168 will also submit to the additional testing. Like with Barnett, the UFC will be footing the bill for Browne's testing as well. "Hapa" gave his thoughts on being tested for the fight:
"I think it's a great idea, and I'm a big supporter of it," Browne said in a statement released through Fosco. "I think our sport and the commission taking actions like this is putting us ahead of the game compared to other sports. We're not putting out a fire. We're attacking the problem before it becomes an epidemic."
In contrast to Barnett, Browne has never failed a pre- or post-fight drug test. Browne suffered the first loss of his career last year at UFC on FX 5 to Antonio Silva. He's picked up two first round KO wins since then. Most recenetly, he weathered the early storm of Alistair Overeem then dropped him with a front kick for the comeback win.
Regardless of how unlikely it seemed only a couple years ago, Barnett re-debuted in the UFC against Frank Mir at UFC 164. He pulled off a first round TKO to beat the former champion. His last failed drug test was just before what would have been the third Affliction event. Following him being forced to withdraw from the main event against Fedor Emelianenko, the show was cancelled.
Barnett and Browne will meet on the PPV portion of UFC 168. The card features two title fights in the main and co-main events. First, Ronda Rousey will rematch Meisha Tate for the women's Bantamweight title. Then, Chris Weidman will try to retain his Middleweight belt in a rematch with the division's former king Anderson Silva. The event will take place on December 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV.