On July 1st, 2015, USADA began testing UFC athletes for banned substances. The sport of MMA has never been the same since.

For some, the beginning of the USADA era in the UFC was the end of their careers. Shockingly, some fighters many of us assumed would be hit the hardest by the change, however, have actually done fairly well for themselves since.

Did anyone feel Alistair Overeem would still be a perennial powerhouse in the heavyweight division after stricter drug testing policies were enacted? How about Yoel Romero? Was there any MMA fan on the planet who didn’t think that the Cuban wrestling standout’s MMA career was going to end as soon as USADA came in? The fact that both of these two athletes continue to do well now 3 years into the program is astonishing to fans and pundits alike.

For every Yoel Romero and Alistair Overeem, however, there are plenty of other fighters who had their careers ruined the moment USADA stepped in. In fact, this article breaks down 10 such fighters.

Be it through failed tests or simply from having to stop taking PEDs, each fighter mentioned in this article had their careers ruined by UFC’s USADA era.

There will be a few former champions mentioned in this article but let’s start things off with former UFC welterweight champion, Johnny Hendricks.

YouTube video

10. Johnny Hendricks

When Johnny Hendricks fought George St. Pierre at UFC 167 for the welterweight title, there was controversy before and after the fight itself.

Before the fight, George St. Pierre proposed advanced drug testing for both fighters. The French Canadian stated he would pay for the advance testing for both he and Hendricks. Although he initially agreed to the arrangement, when it came time to go through with the actual tests, Johnny Hendricks got cold feet. As a result, many feel confident the challenger went into the title fight at 167 with some synthetic advantages.

Keep in mind UFC 167 took place a year and a half before USADA.

Many feel Hendricks did enough to win the fight and the title, but a controversial judges decision gave the fight to the champion. GSP would take an extended sabbatical away from the sport after.

Since USADA testing came into effect, Johnny Hendricks has been a shell of his former self. He’s dropped five of his last six bouts, with his only win coming against Hector Lombard on February 19, 2017.

Hendricks has also had significant difficulties making weight since USADA took over.  He’s missed weight 3x in his last 6 fights.

It’s not clear what is going on with Johny Hendricks right now. His last fight against Paulo Costo at UFC 217 was the last remaining bout on his contract. Considering his performance these last few years, it’s unlikely he’ll get a raise or even re-signed by the UFC. It’s possible his career is over and he simply hasn’t announced it yet.

While his career and title reign will always have an asterisk next to it, few can argue his memorable bouts with Robbie Lawler weren’t some of the most exciting title bouts of all time.

Previous articleBREAKING: Dana White Releases Update on Conor McGregor’s UFC Status
Next articleNick Diaz Warms Up For UFC Return With Street Fight
Ian is a MMA writer based out of Toronto, ON Canada. An avid mixed martial arts enthusiast and passionate fan since he was born, Ian has been writing about mixed martial arts for over 5 years.