The UFC’s response to fighters’ complaints that they are losing significant income by being forced to wear only Reebok during fight week? Fighters are still allowed to secure their own endorsements outside of the octagon.
Well, take that, UFC!
Freshly-minted UFC bantamweight champion Holly Holm (pictured) has become the newest member of the Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals family, much to the UFC’s dismay.
The UFC’s beef is, Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals produce products that contain the stimulant DMAA (dimethylamylamine). DMAA is a synthetic drug that can be used to improve athletic performance. DMAA has also been found to cause heart attacks and seizures.
DMAA is banned by the UFC, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the Food and Drug Administration.
“Holly Holm is a great UFC champion and a role model for the sport of mixed martial arts,” the UFC expressed in a statement to USA Today Sports. “The UFC organization has not researched the company that is sponsoring Holm, and UFC does not condone any athlete that uses a substance on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List.”
It is unknown if Holm uses any Hi-Tech products in her training. However, Holm has submitted seven tests to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), the third-party drug-testing organization the UFC hired in July to randomly screen their fighters year-round, and has never produced a positive result.
A controversial product Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals produces is HydroxyElite. The company states on its website that the substance is a reverse-engineered version of OxyElite Pro, a top-selling supplement that the FDA banned and made its producer USP Labs destroy in 2013.
The length and financial terms of Holm’s sponsorship deal with Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals is unknown. Based on the UFC’s response and the controversy this story is generating, they have already gotten their money’s worth.
Holm shocked the MMA world when she obliterated UFC golden girl Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 in November to capture the bantamweight title. They were tentatively scheduled for an immediate rematch at the UFC’s blockbuster UFC 200 show on July 2, but Rousey requested and received additional time off.
Holm will now defend her gold against Miesha Tate at UFC 197 on March 5.