5 UFC Fighters that got caught for PEDs (2022)

When talking about the UFC, it is hard to keep Performance Enhancing Drugs away from the conversation. Ever since the company decided to enforce proper testing for drugs, many big names have been busted for PED usage.

Although all the fighters that tested positive might have their own stories and reasons, taking performance-enhancing drugs to get an upper hand inside the octagon cannot be defended at any level. And this applies to all fighters.

Over the years, many big names have fallen into such a pitfall and the phenomenon is still pretty much active in the MMA world. This slider will be focussing on the issue and we will be trying to list down some of the biggest names that tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

#5 Royce Gracie

5 UFC Fighters that got caught for PEDs (1)

Most people still find it hard to believe that Royce Gracie was once busted for PED usage. He is a legendary name in the sport and rightfully so. However, Gracie once tested positive for anabolic steroid- Nandrolone, in 2007.

The examination that Royce tested positive for was associated with his fight against Kazushi Sakuraba at K1 Dynamite USA. It was the rematch for their famous 90-minute battle that took place in 2000. While Sakuraba was the winner in 2000, it was Gracie that came out winning in the 2007 fight via a decision.

After this win, however, Royce tested positive for both his A sample and B sample. He was immediately suspended and fined. Though Royce went on to argue about the test results, he ended up paying the fine.

Fortunately for Royce, the rules of California State Athletic Commission did not have the provision to overturn his win over Sakuraba even after the positive test results.

So the legendary rivalry between Sakuraba and Royce currently stands at 1-1 although Royce Gracie tested positive after his win.

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#4 Chael Sonnen

5 UFC Fighters that got caught for PEDs (2)

Chael Sonnen is hands down one of the most entertaining fighters out there. His trash talking skills and fighting style are two things that many fans admire. However, Sonnen’s resume has some major black marks due to his PED busts. In fact, it was his multiple drug test failures that ended his career in the UFC.

Sonnen failed two random drug tests during his run in the UFC and in the second one, he tested positive for four banned substance. Also, one of the tests revealed that Sonnen had 16 times the normal amount of testosterone in his body. Sonnen announced his retirement from the sport due to the failed tests and he also had his UFC analyst position taken away.

In 2014, he was banned for two years by the NSAC as a result. Sonnen served the suspension and came out of retirement in 2016 by signing with Bellator MMA. He fought four times in the promotion and won two times.

#3 Brock Lesnar

5 UFC Fighters that got caught for PEDs (3)

Brock Lesnar’s run in the UFC was an interesting one. He came into the promotion with a lot of hype due to his professional wrestling background. And this is perhaps the reason why UFC wanted to push him to the top. Lesnar got a shot at the UFC Heavyweight championship after winning just one fight in the promotion.

He then retired from the sport in 2011 due to injuries with a professional record of 5-3 to his name. Five years later, in 2015, Lesnar announced his return to the Octagon and he was pitted up against Mark Hunt at UFC 200.

The fight went the distance and Lesnar came out on top via a unanimous decision. However, he tested positive for estrogen blocker- Clomiphene and his win over Hunt was overturned. Along with it, Lesnar was suspended for one year and fined $250,000.

#2 Anderson Silva

5 UFC Fighters that got caught for PEDs (4)

Anderson Silva is a legend, period. But we should not overlook the fact that he failed drug tests on two separate occasions under the USADA era.

After making his UFC debut in 2006, Silva went on to have a 16-fight winning streak which is still unmatched. He also won the UFC Middleweight championship in the time period and defended it ten times as well. However, Chris Weidman derailed this impressive run at UFC 162 and this kick-started Silva’s fall from the top.

After losing his rematch against Weidman, Silva was pitted up against Nick Diaz at UFC 183. Although Silva won the fight, the decision was overturned after the Brazilian tested positive for Drostanolone and Androsterone.

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Silva then returned in 2016 but tested positive once again in 2017. He was handed a one-year suspension for this second test failure. Whether or not Silva destroyed his legacy with these drug test failures is a topic worth debating about.

#1 Jon Jones

5 UFC Fighters that got caught for PEDs (5)

Jon Jones is considered to be one of the most naturally gifted athletes in the UFC. Whenever he steps into the cage, he backs up this assumption with his performance. At the same time, Jones is one of the most controversial fighters out there.

The initial stages of his career saw him dominate the UFC Light Heavyweight division. He became a champion when he was 23-years-old and he secured wins over some big names like Chael Sonnen, Vitor Belfort, Lyoto Machida and Quinton Jackson among others.

However, one month prior to his victory over Daniel Cormier at UFC 182, Jones tested positive for cocaine. He was not suspended since the incident took place in the Pre-USADA era and since the substance that he tested positive for was not banned by WADA when detected in the out-of-competition scenario.

Jones then tested positive for Clomiphene and Letrozole ahead of his UFC 200 fight against Daniel Cormier and this resulted in a one-year ban. Jones returned in 2017 and defeated Cormier to become the Light Heavyweight champion once again, but his reign didn’t last long after he was stripped and suspended for failing yet another drug test.

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Who has the most failed drug tests in UFC? ›

Josh Barnett

Here's a fighter who arguably suffered more for his failed drug tests than any other pugilist in history. Josh "The Babyfaced Assassin" Barnett won the UFC Heavyweight Championship by defeating Randy Couture at UFC 36.

Do UFC fighters get tested for steroids? ›

All UFC fighters get tested for Performance-Enhancing Drugs(PEDs) in and off competition. The UFC has actually been cooperating with USADA, the biggest anti-doping agency, since 2015. They handle everything from testing, analyzing the results, and applying consequences to the fighters who violate the rules.

What are PEDs in UFC? ›

Performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) have long been a problem in the UFC, with countless numbers of fighters, including UFC champions, testing positive for them over the years. Usually, when a UFC fighter tests positive for performance enhancing drugs, they deny it and give a myriad of excuses.

Who was suspended from UFC? ›

UFC fighter Ashlee Evans-Smith suspended 14 months after positive drug test for a steroid.

Can you take testosterone in the UFC? ›

In the past five years, at least 15 mixed martial artists have been issued exemptions to use testosterone, the vast majority revealed or confirmed through public records requests filed by "Outside the Lines" with the major state commissions or athletic bodies overseeing the sport.

What's EPO steroid? ›

Erythropoietin—more commonly known as EPO—is a type of blood doping that can help improve an athlete's endurance.

Who does UFC drug testing? ›

USADA performs a minimum of 2,750 tests per year, which is around five tests per fighter, per year.
They test UFC fighters for various substances like:
  • anabolic steroids.
  • growth hormones.
  • estrogen blockers.
  • narcotics.

Are UFC fighters blood tested? ›

Athlete Selection

When athletes are selected for testing, it is not uncommon to provide a urine sample, a blood sample, or both. Any athlete competing in an UFC Bout may be subject to testing for all prohibited substances and methods, including those that are prohibited only in-competition.

How much do UFC fighters get paid? ›

In 2020, the average contracted UFC fighter made approximately $148,000 when bonuses and base salary were added up. With each round lasting five minutes, fights three or five rounds in length, and three fights a year, in an extremely narrow view UFC fighters are some of the highest-paid athletes in the world.

How do you tell if a fighter is on PEDs? ›

It will be impossible to know for sure without a positive test result, but some POTENTIAL signs are: Excessively muscular physique. “Out of the ordinary” stamina or energy levels compared to other athletes. Gynecomastia - which is the development of breast tissue in men and can be a side effect of steroid use.

Is Adderall legal in UFC? ›

Can UFC Fighters Take Adderall? Adderall is forbidden in the UFC, but there are exceptions. If a doctor prescribed it to a fighter for medical purposes (such as dealing with ADHD, etc.), then the UFC and USADA will allow the fighter to use Adderall as a supplement before the fight.

What drugs are illegal in UFC? ›

Most inhaled beta-2 agonists are prohibited, including arformoterol, fenoterol, indacaterol, levosalbutamol (levalbuterol) , orciprenaline (metaproterenol), olodaterol, pirbuterol, terbutaline, tretoquinol, tulobuterol.

What happened to Ronda Rousey UFC? ›

Rousey ultimately hung up her gloves for good less than a year later and began a transition to professional wrestling, where she continues to work as the current WWE SmackDown women's champion.

How long is Nunes suspended for? ›

Any straight red card for violent conduct in the Premier League results in a three-game ban. Nunez is now counting the cost of his actions against Palace, with Klopp admitting that he will be speaking to a big-money summer signing about his display of petulance.

Why were Nunes and Peña Suspended? ›

night (July 30, 2022) inside American Airlines Center in Dallas. Bantamweight headliners Amanda Nunes and Julianna Pena were among five fighters suspended indefinitely for injuries sustained during last weekend's mixed martial arts (MMA) event, though Anthony Smith only got a 30-day timeout despite breaking his ankle.

Do martial artists have high testosterone? ›

Mixed martial arts (MMA) do boost testosterone levels but only minimally. This is due to the testosterone-cortisol ratio. Because MMA is high-stakes and stressful, cortisol (the “stress” hormone) circulates in the body. When there is more cortisol in the bloodstream, there is less testosterone produced.

Is TRT legal in pro sports? ›

Testosterone is banned by the NFL except when a player gets an exemption for extraordinary circumstances (such as a player whose body stopped producing testosterone because he lost his testicles to cancer), and so when Dill returned to the NFL and tested positive for testosterone, he was suspended.

Is TRT legal for sports? ›

While it's legal for a number of very valid reasons, it is still cheating. TRT allows an athlete to gain an advantage in competition they couldn't have had otherwise.

Who is the most drug tested athlete ever? ›

USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) testing numbers showed that Jon Jones was the most tested athlete followed by Jose Aldo and Yoel Romero.

Who is the most tested athlete? ›

Matt Centrowitz was tested by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency 17 times in 2016. The next most tested athlete?
AthleteTest Count
Matthew Centrowitz17
Carmelita Jeter15
Justin A Gatlin14
Galen G Rupp14
227 more rows

Can coaches throw the towel in UFC? ›

UFC rules state that “the towel throw (or corner stoppage) is a foul that is usually punishable by the opposing fighter being awarded the win due to disqualification or a point deduction at the discretion of the referee.”

Is Tren a steroid? ›

Trenbolone is a steroid used by veterinarians on livestock to increase muscle growth and appetite (17, 18).

Should I do cardio on steroids? ›

Not only is it safe to exercise while taking prednisone, but working out on prednisone can be beneficial. Even a moderate amount of exercise can prevent the protein loss that can sometimes occur when taking prednisone.

What drugs do boxers take? ›

  • Stanozolol. Stanozolol is one of the most effective steroids on the market; it is an anabolic steroid which is commonly sold under the name, Winstrol. ...
  • Dromostanolone. Dromostalone, a synthetically-produced anabolic steroid, is often used by boxers for its bodybuilding abilities. ...
  • Boldenone. ...
  • Erythropoietin (EPO)
30 May 2022

Is EPO illegal? ›

EPO is prohibited at all times under the WADA Prohibited List and is the most commonly used non-Specified Substance in the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, and Related Substances in category S2.

Is EPO detectable? ›

The criteria for suspicious blood and urine samples by IEF were also re-evaluated. While endogenous EPO was not decreased over the course of the study, EPO microdoses were detectable in blood and urine between 24 h and 72 h after an administration.

Does EPO build muscle? ›

Hardcore Bodybuilders Underground Use of EPO Boosting

In addition to increasing muscle size and strength, noticeable improvements in workout endurance are reported to occur.

When did UFC start drug-testing? ›

When Did The UFC Start Drug Testing? In short, the UFC officially started their current drug testing program on June 1, 2015. The UFC partnered with USADA, the company which conducts all the drug tests for performance-enhancing drugs and other illegal substances.

What do MMA fighters get tested for? ›

A Fighter or MMA Blood Test Panel includes a HIV 1 and 2 Preliminary Blood Test (4th generation), Hepatitis C Antibodies and Hepatitis B Surface Antigen. Preparation: No fasting required.

When did UFC introduce drug-testing? ›

The UFC's new drug-testing policy is scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2015.

Do professional boxers get tested for STDs? ›

Blood Work: HIV, Hepatitis B Surface Antigen, Hepatitis C Antibody, STDs. Blood work is valid for 3 months. Physical: Boxers must submit a physical administered by a licensed physician and is valid for 3 months.

Do amatuer fighters get drug tested? ›

In addition to the standard medical examinations, fighters will also be drug tested. These drug tests are primarily looking for PEDs (performance enhancing drugs) and other banned substances. For higher stakes contests, these drug tests may be continuous and random.

Do you have to fast for a UEC blood test? ›

For these tests, we recommend that you fast overnight. You can drink water during this time and take any medication you would normally take, unless advised otherwise by your doctor.

What is Conor McGregor's salary? ›

Conor McGregor Net Worth
Net Worth$200 Million
Source of WealthMMA, Boxing, Endorsements, Whiskey distillery business, Menswear. Sports Management
Salary$37 million (2020-2022)
Endorsements$16 million
5 more rows

Who is the richest UFC fighter? ›

Conor McGregor – $20,102,000

The former two-division Cage Warriors and UFC champion is the superior MMA athlete in the world in terms of fight earnings. Besides becoming a title-holder, a few fighter's dream is to get a match with McGregor to receive their biggest career pay.

How much does a ring girl make in the UFC? ›

UFC ring girls make from $1000 to $5000 (for PPV events) per fight. Annually, UFC ring girls make from $20,000 to $50,000. With side ventures included, UFC rings girls' earnings can go to up $1 million per year (Arianny Celeste being an example).

Do steroids make you hit harder? ›

You can have a relatively quick enhancement of muscle strength and size, even if you take steroids and don't lift weights. But the biggest benefit from using anabolic steroids is that they allow an athlete to train harder and have a quicker recovery.

What do PEDs do for fighters? ›

PED's improve a fighters endurance, muscle mass, strength and recovery time, so by taking a blend of substances they can get the most out of their training. Also, by taking anabolic steroids it will help them psychologically and give a fighter extra confidence leading up to a fight.

Can you use steroids in MMA? ›

Diuretics, amphetamines, and other means of performance enhancement and body alteration have been used besides steroids. These are all banned substances under the UFC's rules.

Are SARMs allowed in UFC? ›

Despite the lax procedures at the grassroots level, SARMs and many other drugs are not allowed in any MMA competition. Amateur fights are sanctioned by the IMMAF (International Mixed Martial Arts Federation) who are directly linked to the main brass, the UFC.

Why do fighters take Adderall? ›

It works by mimicking the action of two important brain neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters produce euphoria and are known to reduce distractions. MMMA fighters can use Adderall to increase focus and self-control.

Why do pro athletes take Adderall? ›

“It increases alertness, aggressiveness, attention and concentration. It improves reaction time, especially when fatigued. Some think it enhances hand-eye coordination. Some believe it increases the mental aspects of performance.”

Does UFC test for steroids? ›

Understanding the Testing Process

Any UFC athlete may be subject to urine and/or blood collection(s) both in- and out-of-competition. Athletes may also be subject to additional testing by Athletic Commissions or other Anti-Doping Organizations not governed by the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.

Has Jon Jones ever been taken down? ›

During much of his championship reign, Jones has been widely considered to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Never stopped nor outscored during his career, Jones's only professional loss is a controversial disqualification against Matt Hamill; a result that Hamill and UFC President Dana White dispute.

Can UFC fighters use IVS? ›

All UFC athletes are subject to the UFC Prohibited List, which incorporates the World Anti- Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List. Under the rules, IV infusions and/or injections are prohibited at all times, including those used for rehydration, as described below.

What do UFC fighters get tested for? ›

A Fighter or MMA Blood Test Panel includes a HIV 1 and 2 Preliminary Blood Test (4th generation), Hepatitis C Antibodies and Hepatitis B Surface Antigen. Preparation: No fasting required.

When did UFC start drug testing? ›

When Did The UFC Start Drug Testing? In short, the UFC officially started their current drug testing program on June 1, 2015. The UFC partnered with USADA, the company which conducts all the drug tests for performance-enhancing drugs and other illegal substances.

When did UFC implement USADA? ›

In 2015, by partnering with UFC, USADA implemented the first independent anti-doping program in U.S. professional sport. This program helped UFC position itself at the forefront of the fight for clean sport in mixed martial arts.

Is Nandrolone a steroid? ›

Nandrolone is an anabolic steroid compound with a high myotrophic:anabolic ratio. In this manuscript, we have explored the potential uses for nandrolone in male health. Specifically, we have reviewed the pharmacology of nandrolone and detailed a potential role for nandrolone in joint healing and muscle growth.

Do boxers get tested for STDS? ›

MMA Fighter Blood Test: HIV, Hepatitis B&C Popular

Professional or semi-professional fighters, such as boxers, kickboxers, UFC fighters, wrestling, and mixed martial arts (MMA), are all required to provide proof that they are free of bloodborne viruses to compete.

Do amatuer fighters get drug tested? ›

In addition to the standard medical examinations, fighters will also be drug tested. These drug tests are primarily looking for PEDs (performance enhancing drugs) and other banned substances. For higher stakes contests, these drug tests may be continuous and random.

What supplements are banned by USADA? ›

The Prohibited List – Substances and Methods
  • Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) Anti-Aging and Hormone Replacement Therapies. Boldenone. DHEA. Pregnenolone. Testosterone. Stanozolol.
  • Other Anabolic Agents. Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) LGD-4033. Ostarine. Zeranol.

Who created USADA? ›

United States Olympic Committee

How often does USADA test UFC? ›

The program includes a comprehensive drug-testing policy that will incorporate random, year-round unannounced testing of all 600-plus fighters on the UFC's roster. A minimum of 2,750 tests will take place across the UFC roster each year, which averages out to about five random tests per fighter, per year.

What means USADA? ›

What is USADA? The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is the national anti-doping organization (NADO) for Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American, and Parapan American sports in the United States.

Does USADA go to Thailand? ›

USADA made the trip to Thailand in order to drug test the UFC interim bantamweight champion.

Is USADA employed by the UFC? ›

The United States Anti-Doping Agency® (USADA) is recognized by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) as the official, independent anti-doping agency for the UFC.

Is USADA under WADA? ›

USADA is a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code established by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which means that USADA upholds and enforces WADA rules that govern sport around the world.

Is Tren illegal in the US? ›

Legal status

Such use is illegal in the United States and several European and Asian countries. The DEA classifies trenbolone and its esters as Schedule III controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act.

Does Deca cause hair loss? ›

In larger doses of 100mg or more, however, it may begin to impact on hair follicles and the androgen growth cycle. Deca-durabolin: Generally considered to be a fairly safe steroid for hair, this compounds converts 5-alpha reductase into the relatively harmless DHN rather than DHT.

Is Tren a steroid? ›

Trenbolone is a steroid used by veterinarians on livestock to increase muscle growth and appetite (17, 18).


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