Michelle Waterson questions USADA’s testing of fighters outside the US

Michelle-Waterson
PhotoCred: YouTube - PowerfulJRE

The United States Anti Doping Agency’s (USADA) partnership with the UFC to test their athletes went into effect on July 1, 2015. Ever since then, the sport has been considered much cleaner within the UFC but there have still been some controversies that have unfolded here and there over the four years. Top UFC strawweight contender, Michelle Waterson raised an interesting question on Tuesday that could potentially create some more.

As the third most tested fighter all-time in her division when going by ranked fighters, Waterson, who lives in America, is curious as to whether or not other country’s fighters get tested as frequently as she does.

“Is it the same in every country?” Waterson asked on the Joe Rogan Experience of USADA’s testing. “Because I know that that’s kind of one of the concerns of the athletes that, ‘Yeah, it might be really strict here in the states… but in other states is it as strict?’

“I don’t know, I’m just sayin’… I don’t know, I guess I just… I can only be concerned with what’s under my control. And so then I’m just gonna train and I’m gonna get as good as I can get and hopefully, USADA can take care of the rest. But for me to stress about it is just time wasted I think – for myself.”

As is implied in the name of the company, USADA is based in the United States. And to go by the actual testing numbers as of May 24, which can be seen below (green equals 2019 test numbers, red equals all-time test numbers), the numbers pertaining to fighters spending most of their time or residing in America vary quite a bit.

To fully break down those numbers, here is a list of each specific fighter in the UFC’s rankings that don’t live stateside or do their training camps in America and how long they’ve been in the UFC.

Strawweight

  • Jessica Andrade (Brazil), 2019: 7, All-time: 29, UFC debut: July 2013
  • Weili Zhang (China), 2019: 1, All-time: 3, UFC debut: August 2018
  • Karolina Kowalkiewicz (Poland), 2019: 3, All-time: 20, UFC debut: December 2015
  • Alexa Grasso (Mexico), 2019: 2, All-time: 10, UFC debut: November 2016
  • Randa Markos (Canada), 2019: 4, All-time: 21, UFC debut: December 2014

Women’s Flyweight

  • Jennifer Maia (Brazil), 2019: 5, All-time: 8, UFC debut: July 2018
  • Poliana Botelho (Brazil), 2019: 3, All-time: 17, UFC debut: October 2017

Men’s Flyweight

  • Jussier Formiga (Brazil), 2019: 5, All-time: 19, UFC debut: October 2012
  • Rogerio Bontorin (Brazil), 2019: 4, All-time: 5, UFC debut: February 2019
  • Kai Kara-France (New Zealand), 2019: 4, All-time: 5, UFC debut: December 2018
  • Raulian Paiva (Brazil), 2019: 5, All-time: 6, UFC debut: February 2019

Women’s Bantamweight

  • Germaine de Randamie (Netherlands), 2019: 1, All-time: 16, UFC debut: July 2013
  • Ketlen Vieira (Brazil), 2019: 1, All-time: 18, UFC debut: October 2016
  • Yana Kunitskaya (Lives in Russia, trains at JacksonWink MMA), 2019: 4, All-time: 11, UFC debut: February 2018
  • Irene Aldana (Mexico), 2019: 2, All-time: 12, UFC debut: December 2016
  • Lina Lansberg (Sweden), 2019: 1, All-time: 14, UFC debut: September 2016
  • Bethe Correia (Brazil), 2019: 2, All-time: 21, UFC debut: December 2013

Men’s Bantamweight

  • Petr Yan (Russia), 2019: 3, All-time: 7, UFC debut: June 2018
  • John Lineker (Lives in Brazil, trains at American Top Team), 2019: 4, All-time: 24, UFC debut: May 2012
  • Thomas Almeida (Brazil), 2019: 3, All-time: 22, UFC debut: November 2014

Women’s Featherweight

  • Bea Malecki (Lives in Sweden, trains at Fortis MMA), 2019: 0, All-time 2, UFC debut: May 2019
  • Duda Santana (Brazil), 2019: 0, All-time: 1, UFC debut: May 2019

Men’s Featherweight

  • Alex Volkanovski (Australia), 2019: 3, All-time: 11, UFC debut: November 2016
  • Jose Aldo (Brazil), 2019: 7, All-time: 40, UFC debut: April 2011
  • Mirsad Bektic (Lives in America, trains at Tristar MMA in Canada), 2019: 1, All-time: 18, UFC debut: April 2014
  • Yair Rodriguez (Lives in Mexico, trains in America), 2019: 1, All-time: 22, UFC debut: December 2014
  • Chan Sung Jung (South Korea), 2019: 1, All-time: 11, UFC debut: March 2011

Lightweight

  • Khabib Nurmagomedov (Lives in Russia, trains at American Kickboxing Academy), 2019: 5, All-time: 35, UFC debut: January 2012
  • Conor McGregor (Ireland), 2019: 3, All-time: 50, UFC debut: April 2013
  • Charles Oliveira (Brazil), 2019: 4, All-time: 14, UFC debut: August 2010
  • Islam Makhachev (Lives in Russia, trains at American Kickboxing Academy), 2019: 3, All-time: 17, UFC debut: May 2015

Welterweight

  • Darren Till (UK), 2019: 5, All-time: 22, UFC debut: May 2015
  • Leon Edwards (UK), 2019: 3, All-time: 17, UFC debut: November 2014
  • Demian Maia (Brazil), 2019: 4, All-time: 26, UFC debut: October 2007
  • Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos (Brazil), 2019: 5, All-time: 15, UFC debut: May 2015

Middleweight

  • Robert Whittaker (Australia), 2019: 3, All-time: 26, UFC debut: December 2012
  • Israel Adesanya (New Zealand), 2019: 7, All-time: 16, UFC debut: February 2018
  • Jack Hermansson (Norway), 2019: 4, All-time: 14, UFC debut: September 2016
  • Paulo Costa (Brazil), 2019: 6, All-time: 33, UFC debut: March 2017
  • Antonio Carlos Junior (Lives in Brazil, trains at American Top Team), 2019: 3, All-time: 16, UFC debut: March 2014
  • Elias Theodorou (Canada), 2019: 3, All-time: 17, UFC debut: April 2014

Light Heavyweight

  • Alexander Gustafsson (Sweden), 2019: 2, All-time: 28, UFC debut: November 2009
  • Thiago Santos (Lives in Brazil, trains at American Top Team), 2019: 7, All-time: 28, UFC debut: August 2013
  • Jan Blachowicz (Poland), 2019: 3, All-time: 17, UFC debut: October 2014
  • Volkan Oezdemir (Switzerland), 2019: 4, All-time: 21, UFC debut: February 2017
  • Ilir Latifi (Sweden), 2019: 3, All-time: 20, UFC debut: April 2013
  • Jimi Manuwa (UK), 2019: 2, All-time: 16, UFC debut: September 2012
  • Johnny Walker (Brazil), 2019: 4, All-time: 6, UFC debut: November 2018
  • Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua (Brazil), 2019: 2, All-time: 18, UFC debut: September 2007
  • Misha Cirkunov (Canada), 2019: 6, All-time: 32, UFC debut: August 2015
  • Nikita Krylov (Russia), 2019: 3, All-time: 13, UFC debut: August 2013 (Fought elsewhere from June 2017 to May 2018)

Heavyweight

  • Alexander Volkov (Russia), 2019: 3, All-time: 18, UFC debut: November 2016
  • Shamil Abdurakhimov (Russia), 2019: 2, All-time: 13, UFC debut: April 2015
  • Tai Tuivasa (Australia), 2019: 2, All-time: 8, UFC debut: November 2017
  • Marcin Tybura (Lives in Poland, trains at JacksonWink MMA), 2019: 2, All-time: 20, UFC debut: May 2016
  • Blagoy Ivanov (Bulgaria), 2019: 3, All-time: 8, UFC debut: July 2018
  • Augusto Sakai (Brazil), 2019: 4, All-time: 6, UFC debut: September 2018

The overall average test numbers for these fighters all time equals out to 17 while their US counterparts’ average at 22.

For ‘The Karate Hottie,’ Michelle Waterson, she most recently extended her winning streak to three straight when she earned a clear cut unanimous decision win over former title challenger, Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC Philadelphia in March. She now finds herself likely one fight away from a title shot at the most.

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/29/2019