(Dave Mandel/Sherdog)UFC: Implications of the I.V. Ban Michael Davis July 23, 2015 News, Spotlight In an effort to clean up the sport, the UFC has partnered with USADA. The world-renowned organization was at the helm of the Lance Armstrong investigation, amongst others. Combat Sports, and pro-sports in general have been plagued with performance enhancing drug use for a long time. Recently, there have been a string of high profile positive tests in the UFC and some smaller organizations. The UFC’s partnership with USADA and a revised drug policy have made it a lot more difficult for cheaters to take banned substances. Now, USADA is taking things one step further by banning the use of I.Vs when re-hydrating. The purpose isn’t to prevent weight cutting. It’s actually being implemented because I.V. hydration makes it more difficult for them to test for blood. The program goes into affect on October 1. While it’s easy to respect U.S.A.D.A’s aggressive stance, and the UFC’s goals, this move has a lot of people feeling a bit uneasy. Weight cutting is dangerous enough and the conversation of how to make it safer or prevent it is almost as old as the sport itself. There hasn’t been a solution yet, and it is unlikely that the new I.V. ban will help the situation. If fighters are unable to re-hydrate properly, there is going to be a lot more head trauma. With our without I.V.’s, there will always be fighters that cut weight. Blood doping is something that should be banned, but it isn’t worth risking fighters health. The heavyweight division excluded, most fighters cut weight. The ban is going to reshape divisions within the UFC as fighters are forced to move up a weight class. What about fighters that cut down to light heavyweight, though? If they are dependent on I.V. re-hydration and they can’t get down to 205 pounds, they are going to have to fight against men thirty to forty pounds heavier than them. Some of the biggest names in the sport cut significant amounts of weight and often look like they are one ounce away from kidney failure. Fighters like Conor McGregor, Jose Aldo, Renan Barao, and Donald Cerrone, just to name a handful of stars that have substantial weight cuts. Some will move up, while others will continue to game the system.