UFC and USADA to end their partnership amid McGregor’s testing controversy


The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has revealed that it will no longer be the official anti-doping partner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) starting from January 1, 2024. The announcement comes amid a heated dispute between the two parties over the testing status of UFC star Conor McGregor, who is recovering from a leg injury sustained in his last fight against Dustin Poirier in July 2021.


USADA CEO Travis Tygart said in a statement that the relationship between USADA and UFC has become “untenable” and that USADA will focus on its core mission of protecting clean athletes and fair sport. Tygart also accused UFC of interfering with USADA’s independent and impartial testing process and compromising the integrity of the anti-doping program.

“USADA has been proud to serve as the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy since 2015, but unfortunately, we have reached a point where our partnership with UFC is no longer viable,” Tygart said. “We have witnessed repeated attempts by UFC to influence and undermine our testing decisions, which is unacceptable and contrary to the spirit and letter of our agreement. We cannot allow our reputation and credibility to be compromised by an organization that does not share our values and commitment to clean sport.”

McGregor re-enters USADA’s testing pool after six months

USADA also announced that McGregor has officially re-entered the testing pool as of Sunday, October 10, 2023, after being out of it for more than six months. According to the UFC’s anti-doping policy, maintained by USADA, a fighter who re-enters the testing pool must spend at least six months in the pool and pass two drug tests before competing again.

McGregor, who has not fought since his TKO loss to Poirier at UFC 264, where he suffered a fractured tibia and fibula in his left leg, has expressed his desire to return to the octagon as soon as possible. He recently posted a video on social media showing him walking on a treadmill with a brace on his leg.

However, McGregor’s return date is still uncertain, as he will have to comply with USADA’s testing requirements and get medically cleared by the UFC. It is also unclear whether McGregor will be subject to USADA’s testing after January 1, 2024, when USADA’s contract with UFC expires.

UFC’s future anti-doping plans remain unknown

The UFC has not yet commented on USADA’s announcement or revealed its plans for its future anti-doping program. The UFC introduced its anti-doping policy in 2015, in collaboration with USADA, as a way to combat the use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) and other banned substances in mixed martial arts (MMA).

Since then, USADA has conducted more than 20,000 tests on more than 1,500 UFC fighters, resulting in more than 130 sanctions for anti-doping violations. Some of the notable fighters who have been suspended by USADA include Jon Jones, Brock Lesnar, TJ Dillashaw, Anderson Silva, Fabricio Werdum, and Nate Diaz.

The UFC-USADA partnership was widely praised as a positive step for the sport of MMA, as it aimed to ensure a level playing field and protect the health and safety of the fighters. However, it also faced criticism from some fighters and fans who questioned USADA’s transparency, consistency, and fairness in its testing and sanctioning procedures.

With USADA leaving the UFC, many questions remain unanswered about how the UFC will handle its anti-doping program in the future. Will the UFC find another independent agency to replace USADA? Will the UFC create its own internal anti-doping department? Will the UFC adopt a more lenient or more strict approach to doping? And most importantly, will the UFC be able to maintain its credibility and trust among its fighters and fans?

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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