Joe Duffy Highlights USADA Anti-Doping as a reason for UFC Return

By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran

Last week MMAFighting.com reported that professional MMA standout Joseph Duffy had signed a seven-fight deal to complete his UFC return.

The Irishman had initially left the promotion earlier this year to test the waters of free agency following his unanimous decision victory over Sweden’s Reza Madadi on March 18 at UFC Fight Night in London.

The 29-year-old made a guest appearance speaking on The MMA Hour this week and expressed that the strong presence of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), who carry out the UFC’s anti-doping program, was among the deciding factors in his enthusiastic return to the world’s leading professional MMA organisation, turning down similar offers from other notable promoters.

“I just felt good about the UFC offer,” Duffy told host Ariel Helwani.

“There wasn’t much difference between them (contract offers), but I just feel that the UFC is the place for me right now.

“Obviously, with the USADA program (at UFC) too, that’s something that’s very important to me. That’s something I’m really for. All of these factors came into play, but I feel like the offer I got from the UFC was very good.”

USADA – who serve as the USA’s national affiliate to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) – were introduced as enforcers of the UFC’s stringent new anti-doping policy in 2015 which has saw the addition of out-of-competition testing and substantial punishments for anti-doping violations.

Speaking in 2015, Jeff Novitzky, the UFC’s vice president of athlete health and performance stated: “This is the most comprehensive, effective, best program in all of professional sport.” 

In 2015 IMMAF implemented its own anti-doping policy based on WADA Standards. In-competition testing was introduced at international Amateur MMA tournaments, first being the 2015 IMMAF World Championships. The IMMAF anti-doping rules are based on strict liability, essential for the health and safety of the sport of MMA and its participants. The move is in line with IMMAF’s sporting values, as the organisation has worked to achieve compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code. IMMAF appointed internationally renowned expert consultancy, Sporting Integrity Ltd, to advise on and develop its anti-doping policy and program.

Click HERE for IMMAF’s anti-doping policy statement.