Since July 2015, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has been cracking down on UFC fighters who use performance-enhancing drugs. On the flipside, they recently came up with an incentive system for those who constantly churn out clean test results.
As the agency announced on its official website, USADA will be awarding an exclusive T-Shirt branded “25x” to fighters who reach a total of 25 consecutive clean drug test results. The said shirt will also bear the hashtag “Follow My Lead”, as well as the slogan “Train Clean. Fight Clean.”
According to UFC Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitzky, there are already 19 fighters on the roster who will be recognized for the said accomplishment.
“These athletes are not only role models for clean sport within UFC and the sport of mixed martial arts, but for all professional sports,” Novitzky said. “We are proud to honor the leadership, compliance, and commitment to clean sport this group of athletes have displayed over the last three years, as well as the efforts that all UFC athletes put forth to helping make the Octagon clean and safe.”
A good number of UFC fighters have attested to have been PED-free their entire careers. One of them is former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos.
“I’ve been in the UFC for 10 years, over 37 fights, and my whole life I’ve competed clean,” dos Anjos said in a separate statement. “It’s just good for my legacy to have a clean record, and the only thing that doesn’t show on the blood test is the hard work.”
“The reason that I compete clean is that I want to be fair to people. I think it’s fair for everybody else to compete clean.”
According to MMAFighting.com, these are the 19 fighters who have reached and even surpassed the 25-clean test milestone as of May 1st:
Holly Holm (35), Cris Cyborg (33), Eddie Alvarez (32), Vitor Belfort (32), Daniel Cormier (30), Rafael dos Anjos (30), Stipe Miocic (28), Robbie Lawler (27), T.J. Dillashaw (27), Conor McGregor (27), Edson Barboza (27), Dominick Cruz (27), Fabricio Werdum (27), Frankie Edgar (27), Tecia Torres (26), Stephen Thompson (25), Tyron Woodley (25), Dustin Poirier (25) and Johny Hendricks (25).