clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Jose Aldo, Conor McGregor, and Ronda Rousey: UFC's most drug tested fighters in 2015

New, 87 comments

The first year of the USADA/UFC partnership is now in the books and while testing numbers may not be up to their promised eventual goals, we can already see who's getting tested and how often.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The UFC/USADA drug testing numbers for 2015 are out. The program, which went into effect July 1st of last year, saw 353 tests carried out on UFC fighters in and out of competition, by USADA. In total 156 athletes got tested, which means a lot more didn't. That's not nearly as many as would put them on pace for their planned 2,750 tests a year, but with a stated goal of starting out slow and educating athletes, it's not quite as shocking that the numbers are as low as they are.

And while testing frequency is very definitely something to watch out for, one of the other major points of the new USADA system under examination is, which athletes got tested the most. As UFC Drug Czar Jeff Novitzky himself stated, it's not exactly a random process.

"It's not random testing; it's intelligent testing. USADA's not going to say, ‘Hey, we're going roll the dice and whoever comes up ...' They're going to look on everything, from tips that they may get - hell, they'll even look at physical appearances of athletes. Does this athlete pass kind of the physical appearance ‘smell test,' and if they don't, hey, maybe we need to test that person a little bit more."

So, who got tested the most in 2015? Here are the numbers:

  • Jose Aldo - 8
  • Conor McGregor - 8
  • Ronda Rousey - 8
  • Antonio Silva - 7
  • Dan Henderson - 7
  • Holly Holm - 7
  • Vitor Belfort - 6
  • Rafael dos Anjos - 6
  • Luke Rockhold - 6
  • Yoel Romero - 6
  • Thiago Alves - 5
  • Donald Cerrone 5
  • Junior Dos Santos - 5
  • Jessica Eye - 5
  • Jacare Souza - 5
  • Gleison Tibau - 5
  • Ryan Bader - 4
  • Daniel Cormier - 4
  • Bethe Correia - 4
  • Todd Duffee - 4
  • Anthony Johnson - 4
  • Michael Johnson - 4
  • Robbie Lawler - 4
  • Alistair Overeem - 4
  • Dustin Poirier - 4
  • Josh Samman - 4
  • Glover Teixeira - 4
  • Abel Trujillo - 4
  • Chris Weidman - 4
  • Fabricio Werdum - 4

All of the other fighters got tested three or less times. The most obvious thing here is that champions and title contenders are right at the top of the list, with a few notable exceptions like Dan Henderson, Antonio Silva, and Yoel Romero mixed in. Is this the "smell test" at work? Is there a reason some champs got tested a lot more over that six month stretch than others?

It doesn't seem to be based quite on how active they were, with McGregor, Rousey and dos Anjos fighting twice, but Aldo only fighting once. Either way, it definitely looks like the closer a fighter gets to the top of the division and the more eyes there are on a big fight, the more attention they'll be getting from USADA in and out of competition.