Back in 2019, former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was tested by USADA a total of 42 times, much to the surprise of many. According to UFC exec Jeff Novitzky at the time, it was the highest volume of yearly tests he had seen on one athlete in any sport.
In 2019, @JonnyBones was subject to 42 no-notice drug tests by 3 separate entities (USADA, CSAC and NSAC). In my 20 years experience in the anti-doping world, this is the highest volume of yearly tests that I have ever seen on one athlete, in any sport.
— Jeff Novitzky (@JeffNovitzkyUFC) February 3, 2020
We’re only at the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2022, and that number has already been surpassed. As first noted by TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter, reigning UFC light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka had already undergone 51 USADA tests for the year.
Athletes who have submitted the most samples in 2022:
J. Prochazka 51
M. Kape 15
K. Usman 15
M. Cirkunov 14
N. Magny 14
R. Namajunas 13
H. Cejudo 12
P. Costa 12
J. Masvidal 12
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) October 26, 2022
USADA’s UFC database confirms the aforementioned number, showing that Prochazka was tested 15 times this October alone. He had 27 tests in Q3, seven in Q2, and two in Q1, for a total of 51 so far in 2022.
USADA doesn’t publicly discuss their testing methods, so it is still unclear why the UFC champion is being targeted with heavy testing in recent months.
To give an idea on just how big and irregular that figure is, USADA awards jackets for those who reach 50 clean drug tests. Kamaru Usman was the first UFC fighter to receive that accolade in 2021, and he has been in the testing pool since it started in 2015. Six years worth of testing for Usman, was eclipsed by Prochazka in a few months.
The highest total in 2021 was Misha Cirkunov getting tested 27 times. In 2020, the highest was Jon Jones’ 25 tests. In 2019, Sean O’Malley had 26.
Prochazka, who’s been on a 13-fight win streak beginning in 2016, captured the UFC undisputed 205-pound title from Glover Teixeira at UFC 275 in June in Singapore. The two men are now slated for a rematch on December 10 at UFC 282 in Las Vegas.
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