UFC PED Use Statistics (USADA) 2022 Data

MMA Hive is reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more ›.

Performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) are used by athletes to either improve their recovery time drastically or give them an advantage in a fight. This is, understandably, illegal in many sports and is typically governed by an anti-doping agency.

Before 2024, The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) was the governing body of drug testing for the UFC until the two organizations parted ways and the UFC introduced the UFC Anti-Doping Policy (UFC ADP).

Before that changeover, I managed to collect 2022 data from USADA about the test histories they took and the fighters that made offenses. Details below.

USADA Athlete Test History

I obtained the list of test history on UFC athletes from USADA in 2022 to compile some interesting data sets.

First, look at the number of tests performed on active UFC fighters within 2022. Here are the top 15:

FighterNo. of Tests
Jiri Prochazka61
Ariane Cristina Carnelossi20
Paulo Henrique Costa20
Manuel P Gomes16
Neil Magny15
Kamarudeen Usman15
Misha Cirkunov14
Jorge Masvidal14
Henry Cejudo13
Rose Namajunas13
Israel M Adesanya12
TJ Dillashaw12
Frank Edgar12
William A Knight12
Roman Dolidze11
Last Updated: November 17, 2022, Source: UFC USADA Athlete Test History

What immediately stands out is how Jiri Prochazka has had as much as three times more PED tests by USADA than any other UFC fighter.

I’m still unsure if it’s a typo, but these are the official figures for 2022.

There are several other famous names on the list that you’d expect due to their fighting frequency. Such as Neil Magny, Kamaru Usman, Rose Namajunas, and Israel Adesanya.

It’s good to see the inclusion of several UFC weight classes among the tested names on this list.

Other names on the list show these fighters are in the testing pool – meaning they can fight – that have been tested regularly despite not taking place in any (or few) fights.

Fighters like Henry Cejudo and Jorge Masvidal fit that bill.

Despite the recent PEDs controversy, Conor McGregor doesn’t appear anywhere within the test history for 2022.

2022 UFC Champions PED Tests

I decided to pick out the current champions (as of December 2022) in the UFC to compare how often they are tested for PEDs within the year:

FighterNo. of Tests
Jiri Prochazka61
Alex Volkanovski11
Aljamain Sterling11
Francis Ngannou9
Alex S Pereira9
Amanda Nunes8
Weili Zhang8
Valentina Shevchenko8
Leon Edwards8
Islam Makhachev8
Francisco N Figueiredo Jr5
Last Updated: November 17, 2022, Source: UFC USADA Athlete Test History

It seems pretty typical for UFC fighters who have earned championship belt status to have eight PED tests per year by USADA.

That’s slightly less than once per month.

USADA Complete Data Set

I’ve put together a complete data table of the tests USADA performed on UFC fighters during 2022:

The original data is sourced from USADA's UFC Athlete Test History when it was available.

PED Use In UFC Sanctions In 2022

USADA performed 3,832 PED tests on 749 UFC fighters in 2022 alone, resulting in six violations.

Enjoying this article? Share it with your friends:

A 4-year epidemiological analysis (2015-2019) of doping in the UFC found that 8.7% of athletes committed ARVS (anti-doping rule violations).

When I compared the number of fighters tested against the number of violations found for 2022, the percentage was 0.80%.

Perhaps it's a sign that PED use is dropping significantly, or maybe athletes are smarter and more informed about scheduling their pharmaceuticals.

Of all the tests performed, only six fighters received sanctions in 2022. Those names are:

FighterViolationSanction TermsAnnounced
Green, BobbyDehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)6-Month Suspension10/07/2022
Zaleski dos Santos, ElizeuOstarine1-Year Suspension09/22/2022
Johns, MilesAdderallPublic Warning07/21/2022
Evans-Smith, AshleeDehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)14-Month Suspension05/16/2022
Blanchfield, ErinSpironolactonePublic Warning05/13/2022
Lazishvili, ZviadClomiphene10-Month Suspension02/23/2022
Last Updated: 1st December 2022, Source: UFC USADA Sanctions

Bobby Green sticks out as a key name on that list. "King" fought Islam Makhachev back in February 2022 and lost. Several months later, he appeared on this list of sanctions due to a violation of DHEA use.

Perhaps Bobby's loss to Islam had something to do with this PED use, but that is purely speculation. I hope to see Bobby Green back in the UFC after fulfilling his suspension and entertaining the fans with more of his Philly shell fighting style.

History of PED Use In UFC

It's becoming a fascinating era for the UFC, whereby natural fighters are praised, and the MMA community often shuns those that use artificial enhancements.

The biggest culprits are the likes of T.J. Dillashaw, who faced a two-year ban at the height of his career.

And even Chael Sonnen, the charismatic legend of the sport, had two violations in 2010 and 2014, respectively. His final two-year ban was enough to finish his career, as the UFC ended their contract with Chael shortly after.

The future is bright for the UFC if they continue to discourage the abuse of enhancing drugs and keep the viewership alive for new generations of fans.

See more about viewership in our UFC viewership statistics.

Leave a Comment