PFL hires USADA to test fighters after recent wave of drug failures

By Josh Evanoff - July 11, 2023

The PFL has decided to hire USADA after a recent string of drug failures.

Professional Fighters League, PFL

In April, the company had a series of fighters fail their drug tests in Nevada. Furthermore, it wasn’t just a prelim fighter or two, it was multiple high-profile competitors. Former tournament winners Rob Wilkinson and Bruno Cappelozza tested positive, as did new signee Thiago Santos.

Those names, as well as seven other fighters, tested positive in April. As a result, they were all suspended from fighting and were also removed from the PFL tournament. At the time, all the suspended athletes were replaced, but it was clear that they needed a long-term fix. Following the drug test failures, executives hinted that they had something in the works.

As first reported by ESPN, that something has turned out to be a deal with USADA. Earlier today, PFL President of fighter operations, Ray Sefo, sent an email to fighters informing them of the decision. According to the report, the testing system is very, very similar to the UFC. For example, the PFL has followed Dana White’s lead on letting fighters use marijuana when out of competition.


Ray Sefo, Loren Mack, PFL

Furthermore, in the UFC, fighters are tested 24/7 by USADA and also have to update their whereabouts anytime they go somewhere. While that sounds like a minor rule, Nick Diaz was suspended for too many infractions of the policy back in 2018. Luckily for PFL fighters, that rule doesn’t apply to them.

However, they do have to be tested at their home or gym at any time by USADA officials. According to the email from Ray Sefo, testing is expected to begin immediately, as fighters will get additional details this week.

What do you make of this news? Do you agree with the PFL signing USADA to test their fighters?


Professional Fighters League (PFL) USADA