Johnny Walker understands what former UFC light heavyweight champion Jiří Procházka is going through with his abnormally high drug-testing rate.
Since 2015, the United States Anti-Doping Program (USADA) has partnered with the UFC to ensure an even playing field for the mixed martial artists on the roster. Some of the more notable fighters who have been sanctioned by the agency include Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, T.J. Dillashaw, and Sean O’Malley among others.
However, there is one name whose testing history within a one-year span stands out from the pack, that of UFC’s very own endearing wildman Jiří Procházka.
This year alone, Procházka has been tested a whopping 64 times according to the USADA website’s database. The MMA community has taken notice of these abnormal numbers, and Procházka himself has admitted to being irked and bewildered by the irregular test count.
Johnny Walker Shares Theory Behind Procházka’s High Test Count
In an interview with MiddleEasy, fellow light heavyweight Johnny Walker discussed the matter, including his belief on what triggered USADA to test the Czech fighter so much. Walker believes it is for the very same reason they tested him with high frequency at the start of his own UFC run.
“65 times. A lot. It’s too much. I don’t know what’s (happening) with USADA going to guys like this,” Walker said. “Because when I was winning, I had three fights in the beginning of my (UFC) career. USADA was testing me every week as well. And I was clean, you know? And just because I was training hard and just because we get success and start beating people, they think you’re taking something. It’s not everybody. Most of the UFC fighters are really clean. And it’s just talent that the guy have. It’s just the hard work he’s put (in), you know?
“I think USADA’s doing good to keep the sport clean, but 65 times (in the) last year is too much.”
Walker began his UFC career with three first-round finishes, with each win netting a Performance of the Night bonus. Interestingly enough, Walker has not been tested at all this year according to the USADA Athlete Test History database.
If Walker’s theory holds water, this could be because he has experienced mixed results of late, going 2-2 in his last four fights and 1-1 in 2022. In his most recent bout, he earned his first Performance of the Night bonus since 2019 by submitting Ion Cutelaba in the first round at UFC 278.
Walker is next set to compete at UFC 283 next month against Paul Craig on January 21. If Walker is able to extend his winning and performance bonus streaks to two, perhaps he will find himself awaiting a friendly visit from his old friends at USADA.
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