The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency tested 586 UFC athletes 2291 times in 2016, up significantly from the 353 tests they conducted in 2015, their first year (six months, really) working with the UFC.
The new program has caught several fighters for performance enhancing drug use and athletes are definitely tested much more often and under stricter circumstances than in the past.
Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, fighters are subject to random test at any time and any place.
The below information is based on all in- and out-of-competition blood and urine samples collected by USADA. The current definition for in-competition is identified as the six hours prior to weigh-in and six hours after the bout and fighters are usually given at least one test in this time span. Out-of-competition is anything outside of this window.
A fighter’s past failures do not necessarily mean they will be tested more. Only two fighters in the top 10 have failed a test in the past but one of them just happened to be the most tested fighter in 2016.
Let’s take a closer look at which fighters had USADA knocking at their door the most last year.
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
Multiple fighters -- 10 tests
Multiple fighters were tested 10 times, including former women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm, Misha Cirkunov, Robbie Lawler and Urijah Faber.
Multiple fighters -- 11 tests
A long list of big-name fighters were tested 11 times in 2016. That lists includes: Amanda Nunes, Cain Velasquez, Cody Garbrandt, Cris Cyborg, Dan Henderson, Daniel Cormier, Fabricio Werdum, Michael Bisping, Yoel Romero, Stipe Miocic, Vitor Belfort and Conor McGregor.
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLCZuffa LLC via Getty Images
Tyron Woodley -- 12 tests
UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley was tested 12 times while fighting twice in 2016. He was tested three times in the first quarter (Jan-Mar), four times in the second quarter (Apr-June) in the lead-up to his title fight against Robbie Lawler and twice in the third quarter (July-Sep). Woodley was tested three times in the final three months of 2016.
Stephen Thompson -- 12 tests
Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson fought one more bout than Woodley did in 2016 but was given the same amount of tests. ‘Wonderboy’ was tested three times in the first quarter, when he fought former champion Johny Hendricks. He was then tested a combined five times between the second and third quarter. ‘Wonderboy’ was also tested four times in the fourth quarter.
Zuffa LLC via Getty ImagesMitch Viquez/Zuffa LLC
Nate Marquardt -- 12 tests
Nate Marquardt fought just twice in 2016 but was still one of the most tested fighters on the roster. Majority of his tests came in the third and fourth quarters, was he was tested a combined eight times. Marquardt fought Thiago Santos in May 2016 and Tamdan McCrory in October.
Zuffa LLC via Getty ImagesJosh Hedges/Zuffa LLC
Miesha Tate -- 12 tests
Newly retired former champion Miesha Tate won’t have to worry about random USADA test any more, which should be a relief after being tested 12 times last year. Half of those tests came in the first quarter alone as she prepared for Holly Holm at UFC 196 last March. She was then tested two times apiece in the second, third and fourth quarters, respectively.
Getty ImagesRey Del Rio
Josh Barnett -- 13 tests
Josh Barnett managed to get two bouts in last year and was tested 13 times during that span. USADA collected eight total samples from Barnett in the first and fourth quarters of 2016. One of those fourth quarter out-of-competition tests yielded a potential anti-doping violation.
Zuffa LLC via Getty ImagesMitch Viquez/Zuffa LLC
Johny Hendricks -- 13 tests
Johny Hendricks was one of the most active fighters on this list, and for his troubles, had 13 samples collected by USADA. Majority of those samples were collected in the second and fourth quarters, respectively. Hendricks was preparing for UFC 200 during the second quarter of 2016 and his fourth quarter fight was at UFC 207 on Dec. 30.
Eddie Alvarez --14 tests
Eddie Alvarez submitted 14 samples after fighting three times in 2016. A bulk of those samples -- 5 -- were collected in the fourth quarter, around the time of his fight against Conor McGregor at UFC 205. Alvarez was also tested four times in the first quarter.
Dominick Cruz -- 14 tests
Former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz’s busy 2016 included taking 14 USADA sanctioned drug tests. Cruz was tested five times in the first quarter and four times in the fourth quarter, with the rest of the tests coming between quarters two and three. He fought in January, Jun and December of last year.
Zuffa LLC via Getty ImagesJeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
Anderson Silva -- 15 tests
Anderson Silva fought just twice in 2016 but was tested 15 times, the most out of any fighter on the roster. Nine of those test came in the first three months of 2016 and presumably many of which happened before his Feb. 27 bout against Michael Bisping. Silva was then tested twice in the second quarter and four times in the third quarter. He fought Daniel Cormier on short notice in July 2016 -- the beginning of the third quarter.