The era in which major MMA bouts undergo more thorough drug testing may rapidly be upon us. UFC light heavyweight Jon Jones recently revealed that he is currently undergoing random blood and urine tests under the watch of the Maryland State Athletic Commission as he prepares for his title defense against Glover Teixeira at UFC 172 in Baltimore, Maryland. UFC Tonight reported the news after speaking with Jones, with various outlets covering the news on twitter.
Fascinating being there when Bones was asked to get blood/urine tested randomly at the gym. He asked for it and UFC is paying for it.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 2, 2014
Jon Jones: They had a test for HGH, or I think it was for HGH anf then they had an urine test that kind of detects for other type of stuff..— Jason Floyd (@Jason_Floyd) April 2, 2014
It's a big step forward for the UFC after their debacle with Georges St-Pierre and their insistance that asking for additional testing was "weird." Obviously, the fact that Jones is going through the state athletic commission fits much better with the UFC's longtime testing narrative, that they operate under government supervision.
Paying for more stringent government oversight for their biggest fights may be the easiest step forward in implementing a better drug policy for the UFC. As it doesn't require the involvement of a third party organization and is merely an enhancement of the system already in place. It will be interesting to see if Jones is the first of many UFC champions to undergo increased testing on the UFC's dime, or if this is merely a point of experimentation for the organization, implemented due to a specific set of circumstances rather than a general shift in policy.