If you’ve been a clean athlete in the Ultimate Fighting Championship for a significant period of time, your efforts will not go unrecognized.
USADA announced on Wednesday that it will honor the first 19 UFC fighters who have passed 25 consecutive drug tests. USADA’s anti-doping partnership with the UFC will reach its three-year anniversary on July 1.
Those fighters will receive a T-shirt branded with “#FollowMyLead” and “25x” as well as the slogan “Train Clean, Fight Clean.” Additionally, those with 25 clean drug tests will be featured on a new Twitter account (@USADA_UFC) launching this week, which according to a release, “provides stories, advisories, and messages specific to athletes competing in the UFC, as well as their fans and followers.”
“Participating in a robust anti-doping program requires a year-round commitment to competing clean, both by being available for testing without notice and in being diligent in what you consume,” USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart said. “The program can be inconvenient at times, but as we hear from athletes frequently, it’s a lot less inconvenient than being seriously hurt or being robbed of a win. These athletes have hit a high mark for the UFC program and are role models for clean sport competition.”
The 19 UFC athletes with 25 consecutive clean drug tests as of May 1 are as follows (the number of tests are in parentheses): former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm (35), UFC women’s featherweight champion Cristiane Justino (33), former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez (32), former UFC light heavyweight champion and current UFC middleweight Vitor Belfort (32), UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier (30), former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos (30), UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic (28), former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler (27), UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw (27), former UFC featherweight and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor (27), UFC lightweight Edson Barboza (27), former two-time UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz (27), former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum (27), former UFC lightweight champion and current UFC featherweight Frankie Edgar (27), UFC women’s strawweight Tecia Torres (26), UFC welterweight Stephen Thompson (25), UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley (25), UFC lightweight Dustin Poirier (25) and former UFC welterweight champion and current UFC middleweight Johny Hendricks (25).
“The initial 19 UFC athletes to be recognized for 25 clean tests under the UFC / USADA Anti-Doping Program are a virtual who’s who of UFC’s roster,” UFC Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitzky said. “These athletes are not only role models for clean sport within UFC and the sport of mixed martial arts, but for all professional sports. 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.”
Miocic, Alvarez and Torres will appear in video testimonies this month “about how the UFC Anti-Doping Program promotes clean competition and overall athlete health and safety.”
“I’ve been in the UFC for 10 years, over 37 fights, and my whole life I’ve competed clean. 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,” Dos Anjos said. “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.”