The Ultimate Fighting Championship® and STRIKEFORCE® organizations held their fourth Fighter Summit on July 9 and July 10 in Las Vegas, Nevada. UFC President Dana White and UFC CEO and Chairman Lorenzo Fertitta welcomed over 300 UFC® and STRIKEFORCE® athletes to Las Vegas, Nevada.
At the Summit, the UFC and STRIKEFORCE announced a formalized written policy against performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) and other banned substances.
Lawrence Epstein, the company’s Executive Vice-President and General Counsel, explained the written policy is a continuation of existing policy, and that both promotions will follow guidelines drafted by the same law firm which advises the National Football League on PEDs.
Epstein said: “It is important to continue educating our athletes on the dangers of PEDs and other banned substances. Additionally, no new UFC or STRIKEFORCE promotional agreement will become effective before the athlete has provided a clean PED test result.”
He added: “PED and banned substance usage harms the integrity of sport, potentially compromises the safety of our athletes, raises concerns for both short and long-term health issues and sends an improper message to our fanbase. We will continue to be at the forefront of this issue. And we will continue to work with Athletic Commissions and other bodies to ensure – to the fullest extent possible – that testing procedure keep pace with scientific advancements regarding the identification and detection of prohibited substances.”
The promotions’ medical consultant Dr. Jeff Davidson then spoke to the athletes about both the short and long-term medical effects of PEDs. Dr. Davidson discussed the topical Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) and Keith Kizer – the Executive Director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission – detailed the laws and regulations pertaining to PEDs and TRT.
The Fighter Summit itinerary also included topics such as how the fighters can better promote themselves using social media, an announcement on the company’s new relationship with video game giant EA Sports, a talk from pro football Hall of Famer Michael Irvin on the social responsibilities and pressures placed upon modern-day athletes, and a presentation on sensitivity and promoting professional brand excellence.
UFC President Dana White said: “When we see our fighters during event time, they are cutting weight or are going from interview to interview, so it is important to sit down with them – all 300-plus of them – in a room and go over what is happening in our sport. We had a great line-up of speakers, experts in everything from social media, to brand awareness to medical experts, and our fighters went away with some great information. These summits are crazy to organize, but as a responsible company we feel they are very worthwhile.”
It was also announced that, despite an increase in cost, all UFC and STRIKEFORCE athletes will have accidental medical insurance for a second year, including added coverage for pre-existing conditions.
UFC Chairman Lorenzo Fertitta said: “Flying over three hundred athletes from literally all over the world, from Brazil, Europe, the Far East, Australia and all over North America, is always a logistical challenge. But it is invaluable for our major sports organization to get all of our athletes together go over things like insurance, drug testing and social responsibility. We had great feedback from our athletes and the summit was extremely worthwhile.”
For more information or current fight news, visit www.ufc.com. All bouts live and subject to change.
About the Ultimate Fighting Championship®
Universally recognized for its action-packed, can’t-miss events that have sold out some of the biggest arenas and stadiums across the globe, the UFC® is the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organization. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, headquartered in Las Vegas and with offices in London, Toronto and Beijing, UFC produces more than 30 live events annually and is the largest Pay-Per-View event provider in the world. In 2011, the UFC burst into the mainstream with a landmark seven-year broadcast agreement with FOX Sports Media Group. The agreement includes four live events broadcast on the FOX network annually, with additional fight cards and thousands of hours of programming broadcast on FOX properties FX and FUEL TV. This also includes the longest-running sports reality show on television, The Ultimate Fighter®, which now airs on FX.
In addition to its reach on FOX, UFC programming is broadcast in over 149 countries and territories, to nearly one billion homes worldwide, in 20 different languages. UFC content is also distributed commercially in the United States to bars and restaurants through Joe Hand Promotions, in English throughout Canada via Premium Sports Broadcasting Inc. and in French throughout Quebec via Interbox. The UFC also connects with tens of millions of fans through its website, UFC.com, as well as social media sites Facebook and Twitter. UFC President Dana White is considered one of the most accessible and followed executives in sports, with over two million followers on Twitter. Ancillary UFC businesses include best-selling DVDs, an internationally distributed magazine, UFC.TV offering live event broadcasts and video on demand around the world, the best-selling UFC Undisputed® video game franchise distributed by THQ, UFC GYM®, UFC Fight Club affinity program, UFC Fan Expo® festivals, branded apparel and trading cards.
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Coming up next: UFC 149: Faber vs. Barao is LIVE on Pay-Per-View Saturday, July 21 at 7 PM PT/10 PM ET from Calgary, Alberta. For more info on UFC 149 or the UFC, visit www.UFC.com