The UFC encourages exciting fights by giving out fight-night bonuses. On each card, fighters can earn an extra $40-100K if they win Fight of the Night, Knockout of the Night, and Submission of the Night. The extra cash can make a huge difference in a fighter's finances. But according to a report by MMA Junkie, the UFC is changing the way the bonuses will be handed out.
Starting with Saturday night's fights, the checks for bonuses won't be handed out until drug tests come back. Also, every fighter on an international card will be drug tested. In the U.S., testing is handled by the state commission where the fights are held. International fights are regulated by the UFC.
Recently, Joey Beltran and Rousimar Palhares were suspended nine months for failing a drug test the UFC gave in Australia. An independent lab handles the actual testing.
UFC heavyweight Cheick Kongo has been outspoken on his Twitter account about how he wants to see UFC president Dana White take bigger steps to clean up the sport:
— Cheick Kongo (@kongo4real) January 11, 2013
Tying bonuses to testing and suspensions are a good start, but out-of-competition testing is the best option. The UFC has yet to implement testing beyond competition. State commissions sometimes require it for licensing. Nevada did random testing with Alistair Overeem before giving him a license, but it's the exception. Fighters need to have no idea when the test is coming.