UFC Athlete Health and Performance
UFC continues to have the most comprehensive anti-doping program in professional sports. Starting in 2024, the program is independently administered by Combat Sports Anti-Doping (CSAD) and its president George Piro, a highly decorated, former federal law enforcement officer in the United States and world champion level, masters jiu jitsu practitioner. Under the program, biological samples are collected throughout the world by Drug Free Sport International (DFSI), the global leader in the anti-doping industry with decades of experience in collecting samples for professional and amateur athletic organizations throughout the world. DFSI maintains over 5,000 trained collection personnel worldwide, making them perfectly suited to collect samples from UFC athletes on a global scale.
All UFC athletes are subject to no-notice, 24/7/365 testing anywhere in the world. All contracted UFC athletes are enrolled in the program. All testing selections are made final by CSAD as well as any sanctioning and decision making under the program. The highlights of the program, which make it the best in professional sport, are year-round, unannounced testing, increased sanctions for positive tests, fairness and due process including an appeal option for UFC athletes and most importantly, the administration of the policy by an independent third party organization (CSAD), not the UFC.
Our goal at the UFC is to maintain the best anti-doping program in sport, maintain a level playing field that all athletes can trust and embrace, and as a result, help foster the short and long term health of all UFC athletes and the sport of MMA.
This program is a central part of UFC’s expanded efforts to protect the health and safety of its athletes, and also to protect their right to compete on a level playing field. UFC’s goal is for this program to be the best anti-doping program in professional sports.
CLEVELAND CLINIC LOU RUVO CENTER FOR BRAIN HEALTH – PROFESSIONAL FIGHTERS BRAIN HEALTH STUDY:
UFC is proud to partner with the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health on the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study, a landmark research project on how combat sports impact the brain. UFC will reinvest and continue to invest in this project over the long term.
It is critical that UFC understands the impact of combat sports on brain health so that we can create a safe environment for our athletes. In 2016, UFC committed to a five-year term (up from two years) and made a financial contribution of $1 million.
The study focuses on developing methods to detect the earliest and most subtle signs of brain injury in active and retired professional boxers and MMA fighters. Researchers hope this may lead to being able to identify who is more likely to develop chronic neurological disorders.
The study currently has 600 participants (approximately 500 active fighters: 60 percent MMA/40 percent boxers, 50 retired fighters and 50 controls who have not had head trauma).
UFC PERFORMANCE INSTITUTE:
The UFC Performance Institute is the world’s first mixed martial arts multi-disciplinary research, innovation and performance center. This state-of-the-art 30,000 square-foot MMA facility, which opened in May 2017, provides benefits and services to all athletes competing under the UFC banner.
With a multi-million-dollar annual operating charge, the institute is equipped with a full-time staff of experts in the fields of strength and conditioning, nutrition and physical therapy, and has a designed focus to provide athletes with world class performance optimization at no cost.