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USADA pushes back IV ban for UFC fighters until October

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It looks like concerns over dangerous weight cuts and improper re-hydration in the short term have won out over the USADA's desire to get rid of IV usage. Fighters will now have a 3-month grace period to adjust.

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UFC fighters can breathe a sigh of relief. A small one anyway, as it looks like the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) won't be imposing an immediate ban on the use of IVs for post weigh-in re-hydration. Just recently, USADA CEO Travis Tygart revealed that fighters using IV bags filled with saline solution to re-hydrate would find themselves in violation of the UFC's new drug testing policy, going in to effect this month. IV re-hydration is a pretty standard practice among MMA fighters, many of whom cut extreme amounts of weight in the days leading up to their pre-fight weigh-ins. They then try and gain that weight back as quickly as possible through a combination of IVs and good old fashioned drinking.

So, when it turned out that IVs were suddenly going to be a thing of the past, it also turned out that USADA might need to soften that blow a little. And it appears they have. Brett Okamoto reported, via Twitter that fighters will now have until October 1st before they need to make IV use a thing of the past. Fair warning for all you monster lightweights out there.

It's still not exactly apparent just how much of an impact this is going to have on weight classes as we know them today, but now it will (hopefully) be a bit smoother transition to finding out, as fighters currently in camp and planning weight cuts won't have to suddenly shift gears to an IV-less world.