Travis Browne to meet Josh Barnett on clean terms

Josh Barnett recently was ordered by the NSAC to undergo WADA testing for his fight with Travis Browne at UFC 168 on December 28.

Barnett’s checkered history with drug tests was the reason, and – other than a fighter whose name rhymes with Bedford – his acceptance of Olympic drug testing will allow him to fight on US soil. It’s admirable that Barnett has chosen to continue his career under the microscope (even though there would be little way for his to continue not under it). He has accepted his mistakes and is now working to make amends.

His opponent, however, has never had the guise of drug failure over his head. Browne has been a model employee. His decision to accept WADA testing, while also at the behest of the NSAC, is an indication that a) the commission is proactively attempting to ensure clean fights b) fighters willing to place their reputations in good faith.

The UFC is footing the bill for both fighters.

As Browne told MMAJunkie.com,

“I think our sport and the commission taking actions like this is putting us ahead of the game compared to other sports. We’re not putting out a fire. We’re attacking the problem before it becomes an epidemic.”

Recently, Georges St. Pierre paid for his own voluntary drug testing cycle and challenged opponent Johnny Hendricks to do the same. The entire situation eventually disintegrated into one of political machinations; each fighters’ party were suddenly very interested in the logistics of how to prove themselves clean. What started out as an admirable situation became embarrassing and misleading to the public.

Browne and Barnett are being forced into their spots, but doing so willingly. There has yet to be any attempts to position themselves during the short saga. Let’s hope that continues in leading into one of the cleaner fights in recent memory.

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