As a response to the recent spike in numbers of MMA fighters testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, UFC President Dana White, and company owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, made drastic changes to the UFC's drug policy on Feb. 18.
Similar to other main stream professional sports, MMA has had to deal with steroid use throughout its history.
Since the UFC's inception in 1994, the company has had numerous fighters who have been caught using banned substances.
Fighter suspensions due to PED's have affected the UFC's image in a number of years. Fights have been cancelled and fighters have been stripped of their titles.
The the last straw came after news that former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva, tested positive for banned substances.
After Silva's recent fight against former Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz at UFC 183, reports came out that Silva tested positive for drostanolone and androstane-both are banned by the Nevada Athletic Commission.
Silva denied all the claims against him stating that he has never used PED's in his whole career.
The initial reports that came out against the former champ was compounded by yet another news claiming that Silva has failed a second round of drug tests.
The reports came out days after the UFC had just announced that a number one contender fight between Hector Lombard and Rory McDonald, had to be cancelled because Lombard tested positive for banned substance.
2015 has been a rough start for the sport of MMA and the UFC...
Because of the things that has happened in the past few weeks, the UFC has changed their drug policy, posting stricter laws against fighters who violate their code of conduct.
- Fighters are now subjected to no less than a 2 year suspension from competition if they fail a drug test both in and out of competition.
- Champions will be stripped of title if they fail drug tests.
- Fighters will pay hefty fine if found guilty.
In addition to these consequences, UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, also announced that their company will also finance more funding for increased testing of their fighters.
The following news has created a positive response in the MMA community praising the organization in leading the battle against PED in the sport.
MMA followers have been using social media using the hashtag #PED to share their opinion on the UFC's recent policy change,
Since Wednesday, the UFC as an organization has experienced a complete 180 degree turn with their public relations.
People are praising the company for finally taking a much needed stance against the use of PED's.
Since the UFC is considered to be the face of Mixed Martial Arts, Feb. 17--the day the company took a stand against PED's--is something that will be considered as a turning point in the sport's history.
Being the biggest MMA organization, housing the best fighters in the world, it is only fitting that the UFC takes the first step in ridding the sport of steroids.
Only time will tell if these changes will alter people's perception of the sport of mixed martial arts, and whether this will rid these actions will rid the sport of PED's all together.