After a series of high-profile fighters were found to have been using banned substances, UFC president Dana White and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta have scheduled a press conference for today in Las Vegas.
The event will take place from the Red Rock Casino Resort and begin at 1 p.m. ET. It is expected to be streamed live on UFC.com for those not able to attend.
White and Fertitta will address the use of banned substances by fighters, along with all illegal drug use.
“We’ll address all the things that have happened lately,” said White, following UFC Fight Night 60 over the weekend, “and what we’re going to do and what’s going to happen from here on out.”
In the past month-plus, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, former middleweight titleholder Anderson Silva, one-time contender Nick Diaz and Hector Lombard have all failed tests for either illegal drugs or banned substances.
Announcement of the press conference was made during last Wednesday’s “UFC Tonight” show, to which fighters Demetrious Johnson, Daniel Cormier and Michael Bisping all commented on the rising problem.
“When you look at social media, fans are saying this is bad for the UFC. I say it’s good,” Cormier said. “It’s working. Keep it up. It’s exposing these guys who are taking short cuts. Keep testing these guys. Tell them they can’t keep cheating. It’s not a bad thing. It’s a good thing. Do more [testing]. It doesn’t matter who you are, if you are doing things wrong, it will show it.”
Bisping, never one to remain silent on a hot-button topic, believes year-round testing is the way to go to combat the situation.
“Dana White said if people are using it, they’re going to get caught,” he said. “We’re seeing that. For people who don’t know too much about the sport and see legends like Anderson Silva get caught, it looks bad and leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths. I’d like to see every main event and co-main event get tested, plus two or three guys on the card randomly tested, plus random testing before fights. There has to be year-round random testing and harsher penalties.”
Johnson, the reigning UFC flyweight champion, feels stiffer penalties for those that get caught are in order, saying “I’m pretty sure if you made (suspensions) four years that they lost in the career, they wouldn’t do it anymore.”
You can watch the press conference live on FightLine in the video below: