When the UFC started working with the USADA agency in 2015, it was a real revolution. The main novelty in this way was the introduction of the right of USADA to be able to request a sample for testing from a fighter under a contract with the UFC at any time.
Consequently, all fighters must notify USADA of their change of location and be available to them. Most of the fighters are tested about ten times a year, but of course, some are under greater surveillance. These are most often those who return after a long break or after a doping suspension, but also those who USADA has reason to suspect are under the influence of some banned substances.
USADA has now published a list of the 10 fighters it tested the most during 2021. Some names on the list are expected, while some are a surprise. Especially a fighter in the first place, for whom it is really not easy for us to guess why USADA did that.
In tenth place is Jairzinho Rozenstruik, a heavyweight who has been tested 17 times during 2021. Suriname fought three times during the year so it’s no big surprise. Askar Mozharov, a Ukrainian who signed a contract with the UFC in May but has not yet reached his debut fight, has been tested 18 times.
Charlie Ontiveros has been tested 19 times, which puts him in eighth place. This lightweight fighter only performed once in 2021, when he was defeated by Steve Garcia in October. In seventh place, thus the first in the club of those who have been tested over 20 times, is Paulo Costa, whom USADA knocked on the door 23 times.
The Brazilian is a fighter whose impressive constitution raises doubts among fans that everything is natural with him, and it seems that even USADA cannot be completely calm on that issue. As many as three fighters were tested 24 times.
The first is Abu Azaitar, a Moroccan with a rather dark private past, returnee Miesha Tate, but also former KSW champion and double opponent of Robert Soldić, Dricus Du Plessis. He only competed once in 2021, successfully completing his second UFC appearance, and twice his fight was canceled.
No one will be surprised by man number three, tested 25 times. It’s TJ Dillashaw, a former bantamweight champion, who has returned after a two-year suspension, and his doping offense is one of the most serious in UFC history.
He did one comeback fight last year, in which he was better than Cory Sandhagen.
Second and first fighter
In second place is Azaitar’s other brother, Ottman, who has been tested 26 times. He didn’t fight in 2021, but his story is truly special.
He was supposed to fight on Fight Island in January, but his fight was canceled after he violated COVID protocols. Surely you remember the story of letting a man with a bag into a hotel, a man who later jumped over a balcony until he was caught and removed by security services.
Azaitar was promptly fired after that but was returned to the roster a month later, commenting that he would get a second chance. Still, he didn't face the fight, but that's why he hung out with USADA agents quite a few times.
We were all especially surprised by the first place, a fighter who was tested 27 times. It is about Misha Cirkunov, a Canadian-Latvian fighter who has not had any problems so far. He fought twice during 2021. He first suffered a defeat by Ryan Spann, and then dropped from the light heavyweight to the middleweight division, where Krzysztof Jotko was better than him.
Who knows, maybe that change of category was the reason for the special increase in USADA. But most times in 2021? We believe they certainly did not do it for no reason.