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LAS VEGAS — Yesterday, I published an exclusive, detailed look at a document governing the UFC's new Athlete Outfitting Policy.

The partnership with Reebok—which goes into effect in July—is extensive, and is in every respect a game-changer for the UFC and the fighters who make their living by fighting for the promotion. No longer will fighters be allowed to secure their own sponsorships and display outside logos on their shorts, hats and banners. Instead, it will be all Reebok, all the time, and sponsor banners are a thing of the past.

From a monetary perspective, we still do not know what this will mean for the fighters. The document states that fighters will be paid on a tiered system based on their ranking at the time of weigh-ins, and that they will be paid within 10 business days of the fight's conclusion. But it does not offer any specifics on what kind of pay each tier will provide. That part remains a mystery for now.

Because it is a mystery, we don't know how this deal will ultimately affect the fighters. Will they make a dollar amount equivalent to the amount they were paid by their old sponsors? For some, the idea of not having to chase down payments from delinquent sponsors—long a prevalent thing in mixed martial arts—will be a godsend. For others who take a financial hit, things will not be so rosy.

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LAS VEGAS — On Wednesday, the Ultimate Fighting Championship outlined its new Athlete Outfitting Policy in a document sent to managers of all fighters currently on the roster.

The document, obtained by Bleacher Report, details nearly every aspect of the new policy with the exception of what each fighter can expect to be paid from the new UFC partnership with Reebok. But while the monetary details remain a mystery, the document answers many questions posed after the announcement of the deal—first reported by Bleacher Report last February—late last year.

The document opens with a letter from UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta and UFC President Dana White explaining some of the reasoning behind the partnership.

"The iconic look that will be created by the outfitting policy will elevate the message we communicate as the leaders in the sport," White and Fertitta said in the letter. "The apparel is built for MMA training and MMA fighting, bringing the newest technology available to our sport."

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On Sunday, the Ultimate Fighting Championship presents a novelty Sunday card, following an extensive day of playoff football, in an effort designed to do one thing and one thing only: to make Conor McGregor a household name.

McGregor is already one of the more notable fighters on the UFC roster, which is remarkable considering he has just four fights in the promotion. He has vaulted far past tenured fighters in terms of both salary and screen time. The advertising campaign for UFC Fight Night 59 in Boston centered solely around McGregor, with opponent Dennis Siver relegated to a tiny speck in the background, barely even mentioned.

But it was all for a purpose. With a win, McGregor will move on to face Jose Aldo for the featherweight championship. It will be the UFC's first big-time fight below 145 pounds, and so the McGregor-centric programming will have been worth it.

But in our second edition of The Question, fellow pundit Jonathan Snowden and I try to figure out if this Sunday is indeed the moment when McGregor takes over the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

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How did Dennis Siver get in there?

I think I speak for everyone when I admit this was my initial response to seeing the latest UFC Magazine cover. The two-panel foldout features the fight company’s newest harangue—"The Time is Now"—laid out over a collage of the biggest stars from its early 2015 slate.

There’s Jon Jones and Ronda Rousey. There's Chris Weidman and Anthony Johnson. There’s Conor McGregor checking his fancy watch to make sure the time really is now. Oh yeah, and there’s Siver, too, looking like he sneaked into the photo shoot and nobody had the heart to ask him to leave.

I kid! I kid, but it was legitimately jarring to see Siver photoshopped in there alongside all those main eventers, since we've been given no reason to believe he belongs.

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John Locher/Associated Press

If the recent flap over Jon Jones' positive drug test has taught us anything at all, it's that the system is only as good as the people running it.

And right now, those people aren't doing much to inspire confidence.

From the Nevada State Athletic Commission's admission that it shouldn't even have tested Jones for cocaine on Dec. 4, to the curious idea that nobody told him he'd failed until after he fought at UFC 182, to initial uncertainty over whether Carbon Isotope Ratio tests were conducted to try to determine if Jones had also been using performance-enhancing drugs, the whole thing has been a comedy of errors—with MMA fans cast as the butt of the joke.

After a public meeting on Monday where the NSAC delighted in talk but ultimately declined to act, it's clear state regulators just aren't up to this challenge.

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LAS VEGAS — In the end, the Nevada State Athletic Commission's much-anticipated session on its out-of-competition drug-testing program ended up being much ado about nothing.

The program came under fire when UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones tested positive for cocaine metabolites prior to his UFC 182 title defense against Daniel Cormier. Because Jones tested positive early in December rather than close to the actual fight, the test result was considered "out of competition" rather than "in competition," and punishment could not be doled out to Jones by the commission.

In 2007, the NSAC voted to adopt the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of banned substances, effectively picking and choosing portions of the WADA code to follow. The WADA code defines "in competition" as the 12 hours before and immediately following a fight. Any other time is considered out of competition, and cocaine is only banned in competition.

During a Monday meeting attended by Bleacher Report, the Nevada commission—spurred by chairman Francisco Aguilar—opened discussions regarding its program. But no decisions were made, with the commission instead opting to focus its efforts on researching possible changes to Nevada code.

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John Locher/Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — In the wake of Jon Jones' failed test for cocaine metabolites, social media lit up with discussion over Jones' curious testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratios.

Victor Conte, the man who was famously involved with the BALCO doping scandal, took to social media to note that Jones' T/E ratio was out of line with the norm.

Mixed martial arts journalists like Bloody Elbow's Brent Brookhouse began pushing for the Nevada commission to perform Carbon Isotope Ratio testing on Jones' samples from the December 4 and December 18 drug tests:

But during a Thursday interview with Bleacher Report, Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Bob Bennett said that carbon isotope testing was indeed done on Jones' pre-fight drug tests, and that the results came back clean. 

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In a rare show of solidarity, the MMA community nearly unilaterally told 2014 not to let the door bump its behind on the way out. It had not been a good dozen months for the sport, and we were eager for change.

We'd hoped for better things from the new year, but so far it seems 2015 has displayed the same sickly pallor and funky odor of its predecessor. Already we've lost some high-profile fights to injury, and the one epic barnburner we did get was immediately overshadowed by a failed drug test.

So, it could be that this whole "new year" thing was just a trick with numbers. That bad news isn't just going to stop happening because we arbitrarily declare it a season of invigoration and renewal. Go figure.

In any case, we're still gonna make predictions. Bold ones. Here, Bleacher Report lead writers Chad Dundas (that's me) and Jonathan Snowden get together to give 2015 its horoscope a little bit early.

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On Tuesday, just days removed from his dominant title defense against former Olympian Daniel Cormier, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones surprised many in the MMA community by checking himself into a drug rehabilitation clinic. The move came after a December 4, 2014 drug screening by the Nevada State Athletic Commission revealed benzoylecgonine, the primary metabolite of cocaine.

While the UFC issued a short statement, little is known about how the promotion intends to proceed or what will happen to Jones in the aftermath. While jokes have flowed freely through social media, solid information has not. What follows are some of the facts and information about UFC's code of conduct and Nevada's drug testing policies and procedures.

 

Why Wasn't Jones Punished and the Fight Stopped?

Nevada, following the guidance of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) makes a distinction between in-competition and out-of-competition use.

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We’ve all spent considerable time during Jon Jones’ six-and-a-half year run in the UFC trying to figure out if he is a good man or a bad man.

In the wake of news this week, via Steven Marrocco of MMAJunkie.com, that the fight company's brilliant but often perplexing light heavyweight champion checked into a drug rehabilitation clinic after failing a Nevada Athletic Commission test for the primary metabolite for cocaine, perhaps we can finally agree to meet in the middle.

Jones, it seems, is just a man with as much capacity for weakness as greatness.

As the announcement floated across our social media timelines on Tuesday afternoon, it was met with equal parts surprise and studied indifference. As all things involving Jones, there were a lot of bad jokes to be cracked.