UFC 168 also features a blockbuster fight between former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett taking on the rising star Travis Browne.
In an unusual pattern of testing, Barnett and Browne have been drug tested at least a dozen times leading up to their big fight.
Barnett has a long history of failing drug tests, twice in the UFC last decade, and then again in 2009 prior to a planned fight against the great Fedor Emelianenko.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission required the fighters to undergo the testing in advance of Saturday’s show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. It’s the first time the commission has implemented such testing, according to MMA Junkie. Barnett was reportedly tested 7 times and Browne 5.
“It’s just a process,” Barnett said. “Even if they come while I’m on the toilet, I just wave them in and tell them to turn the fan on.”
Browne wasn’t as congenial about the surprise testing.
“Nothing like waking up to a man sitting on your porch at 7 o’clock in the morning, ready to watch you pee and take blood,” Browne said.
Browne wasn’t thrilled that Barnett’s history forced the testing.
“Just because my opponent got popped for steroids or PEDs before, I don’t feel like I should have to suffer for that,” Browne said. “But I’m a supporter and they asked me to do it.”
Both men could be in line for title shots or No. 1 contender fights with a victory on Saturday night.
Barnett has only lost once since 2008, unanimous decision loss to Daniel Cormier in Strikeforce in 2012. He TKO’d Frank Mir in his last fight, his first UFC battle since he was fired in 2002 after testing positive for banned substance after knocking out Randy Couture.
Browne is coming off two big knockouts over Gabriel Gonzaga and Alistair Overeem. The only loss of his career came against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, in a fight where Brown pulled his hamstring seconds before getting knocked out.