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Jiri Prochazka on USADA's frequent visits: 'If it's the price to be the champion, I will pay that'

Jiri Prochazka is aware that being a UFC champion entails accepting the rigorous drug testing practices that the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has long been criticized for.

The UFC light heavyweight champion has already undergone 59 drug tests in 2022. That puts Prochazka (29-3-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) as the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's most thoroughly tested athlete on the UFC roster this year.

The Czech competitor acknowledged that having USADA representatives disturb him during his sleep might be inconvenient. Jiri Prochazka clarified that he realizes the tests are just a normal part of his life as a prominent UFC fighter. He asserts that it is a price he is ready to pay in light of this. 'Denisa' commented on his position as the most experienced fighter in the UFC during a UFC 282 media event. Prochazka could only chuckle, but he didn't seem concerned.

“Daily,” Prochazka said. “They’re coming daily, and sometimes it’s boring. Sometimes I’m tired from that. I’m waking up at 5 a.m. and I’m thinking, ‘They will come. They will come today.’ But if it’s the price to be the champion, I will pay that.”

At UFC 275 in June, the 30-year-old Czech fighter defeated Glover Teixeira (33-8 MMA, 16-6 UFC) to win the 205-pound championship. The rematch will take place on Dec. 10 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas as the main event of UFC 282.

Prochazka's management was concerned about USADA's numerous visits, but the light heavyweight champion insisted that even if no justification was given, it is the agency's right to do so.

“We spoke about that. My management talked with USADA about why, and it’s just the law,” Prochazka said. “They can do that, so they test me. For me, I’m good with that. It doesn’t matter.”

Since 2015, USADA has been in charge of the UFC's anti-doping program. As part of the scheme, operatives randomly appear to collect urine and/or blood samples from fighters at random times.

Paulo Costa, a middleweight contender for the UFC, has recently expressed loudly how he feels about the testing procedure. Only a few hours before he was scheduled to weigh in for his UFC 278 matchup against Luke Rockhold, Costa claimed that the representatives had visited him.

Costa received an apology from Dana White after that, but he kept criticizing the company. He said that because his existing contract was about to end, his company was irking him by utilizing USADA.


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