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Friday, 05/02/2014, 01:08 pm

Fertitta Explains The Cost Difficulties Of Enhanced Drug Testing


After putting Jon Jones, Glover Teixeira, Travis Browne and Josh Barnett through enhanced testing, the UFC found one fundamental flaw with their new drug testing practices.

COST.

It’s expensive. About $45,000 per fight. (Not event, fight.)

In other words, to efficiently screen fighters for banned substances it will cost approximately $22,500 per athlete, per fight. When there’s 24 athletes on one fight card and multiple cards per month, every month that cost adds up really fast.  ($540,000 for an average UFC card)

UFC Head-Honcho, Lorenzo Fertitta gave MMAJunkie.com the details on how he plans on getting over these pricey hurdles:

“We’re developing this as we go along, and it’s not something where we’re going to have all the answers right away on this. The sport has made tremendous strides over the last 12 to 24 months, as far as drug testing, and I’ll argue beyond any other sport – I don’t know any other sports that are doing enhanced drug testing and have the commitment that we’re giving.”

“We said we would do it, and we’re going to do it. Now we’re going to continue to work with them to see if there’s maybe a way to get a deal where we’re doing so many of them that the cost will come down or becomes a little bit more cost-effective.”

“I think we’re going to have to get smart about how we deal with it. Obviously, for some of the bigger fights, you’re going to do the enhanced drug testing no matter what it costs. I think for some of the other fights, we’re going to have to be smart.

“Maybe, I’m just throwing this out, maybe it’s kind of half an enhanced drug test. I don’t know. But we need to come to some resolution that accomplishes our goal of ridding the sport of performance-enhancing drugs and at the same time being somewhat reasonable from a cost standpoint. We may have to go to some states and get some additional funding, but this is all very new.”

“The budgetary constraints that these states have just trying to fund education, I don’t think we’re going to be on the list for drug testing in MMA or boxing.

“Ultimately, it’s going to fall on the shoulders of the promoters as it is today. So the question becomes, all the taxes that are paid, and I’m sure it may vary state by state, but in Nevada, all the taxes that are paid to the commission don’t necessarily go to the commission. They go to the general fund of the state, so there’s no allocation back to the commission even though the commission generates a substantial amount of revenue.

“So the longer term items we’re going to have to work through and try to figure out, if there’s a way to maintain those taxes that are paid, at least to help maintain the sport and run the sport, but that’s down the road. For now, we’re paying for it.”

“Everything seems to be geared toward us, which is fine, we’re the leader in the industry. We’ll take the leadership role, and we’re going to do whatever we can to rid the sport of these issues.”

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