Sherdog.com: Alistair Overeem was given a surprise, out-of-competition test on March 27 at the UFC press conference. Why did the commission do that?
Kizer: That’s just a situation that kind of came out of this. I had done that once before, I think in July, the beginning of the fiscal year, where we had a couple boxers here for a press conference. Starting in September, as I mentioned before, we now have an agency; I think it’s only 20 bucks extra a test, so it’s very cheap for the promoter. So I checked with the agency first to find out, “Can you come to the press conference at the MGM [Grand] on that day?” They said, “No problem.” I gave them a time to show up; actually, I thought the press conference was going to end about a half hour later than it did, but it was a shorter press conference than I thought. So the guys had to wait around a little bit, but not very long, 10 minutes or so, until the collector came. And then they were all kind of held in the back until the collector came. Then they all went up to the hotel room where he was based out of and gave their urine samples. We were going to have Overeem tested anyway because of the condition from his 2011 license, but it got to the point where I found out [about the press conference]. So that was the first thing, when I found out, “Oh, there’s going to be a press conference. Oh, Overeem’s going to be there. Oh, good, I can actually send ... instead of relying on him going to a lab and giving the urine sample, I can send the lab to him. Makes it easier on him, and it makes it easier on me.” But, then, it kind of begged the question to myself of, “Well, if he’s going to be there and there are five other guys there, why not have him do the other five?” So I let the chairman know that -- that that was my plan. He said that’s a great plan, go forward with it; and we got it done.
Sherdog.com: Overeem missed commission-imposed deadlines for his December drug test, yet he was granted a conditional license to face Brock Lesnar. Why wasn’t he simply denied a license?
Kizer: That was definitely an option. They made him come before the commission, be on the hearing via the telephone there and answer some very tough questions. That was definitely something where he needed to prove to them that they should still give him a license. And he actually did a very good job at that meeting, and the commission gave him a license but conditioned it. He had another test that was done even before the fight when he got here in Nevada. Of course, we did the normal [tests on fight night], but there was also two tests he needed to do within the six months after the fight. This one [at the press conference] was the first, so there’s still one pending, if it’s even necessary. So, yeah, that was something where … he had to go through the ringer for that one.
Sherdog.com: A bit of hay has been made about the fact that Overeem’s license to fight in Nevada expired Dec. 31, 2011, so he wasn’t a licensed fighter when you tested him in March. You’ve said the commission was within its right to test Overeem since he was being advertised as fighting in your jurisdiction. Why can a promoter promote someone as fighting in Nevada before that fighter is licensed?
Kizer: Well, it’s all contingent on getting the person licensed. Let’s say, for example, a promoter promoted somebody saying, “I know this guy’s not going to be available and I know he’s not going to come and fight here, but I’m going to put him on the marquee anyway.” And then five days before the fight or a week before the fight or something, [they] pull him off. And that’s prohibited. So they have to have some sort of agreement between the promoter and the fighter that he is going to appear on that card. Now, injuries do happen sometimes, and other things might get in the way. [The fighter] might have a personal tragedy where he needed to pull out of the fight, and that’s understandable with proof. But, for the most part, that’s an ongoing obligation on the promoter to make sure that that does not occur -- false advertising.
Sherdog.com: Why doesn’t a promoter make sure a guy is licensed before he’s promoted as fighting?
Kizer: Well, the licensing requirements, the medical requirements that come into play, as long as we get those before the weigh-in and in ample time to review them, that’s not a problem. So there’s no need to get licensed, let’s say, in February, when you’re fighting in May. If you want to -- you can get licensed that early -- you can, but, logistically, there’s no need to be licensed that early.
Sherdog.com: Overeem has, since the drug test, applied for a fight license in Nevada, correct? Or, the UFC applied on his behalf?
Kizer: Yes. The UFC usually collects all the materials for their fighters and then ships them to us. Sometimes, with smaller cards like club cards, the fighter might actually come in or mail it in or actually come in in-person and deliver the stuff himself. Sometimes, fighters get licensed even though they have no fights [and] they have no contractual obligations with promoters. They’ll get licensed so they’re ready to go. Most people probably get licensed the week of the fight.
Sherdog.com: Has Overeem applied for a Therapeutic Use Exemption from the commission?
Kizer: Has not.
Sherdog.com: If I want permission to use testosterone from Nevada, what do I have to do?
Kizer: Well, [with] any kind of therapeutic use exemption, not just limited to testosterone, you need to contact the commission; we need to get communications open with your treating physician. So that would be a situation where the fighter’s obligated through his or her physician to get us all the necessary documentation and the requests. In other words, Doctor X is saying, “I’m treating this athlete for this condition; here’s the treatment plan. This treatment plan would not put the fighter at undue risk, would not give him or her an unfair advantage. Here’s the labs that I’ve done to kind of confirm, that confirm the diagnosis.” [They] send it to us, we run it by our doctor, our doctor goes through it and sees that it might be a situation where he may say, “That seems like a very overly-aggressive treatment plan.” Or it might be a situation where the doctor will say, you know, “That drug is not safe enough to use in competition, so you need to change the plan that way.” Or again, you have to lower the levels, perhaps of the Adderall that you’re taking. Adderall is one that I know I’ve seen before, where in certain normal dosages it may be [an] unfair, not [an] unfair, undue risk for the fighter to use it during competition. So you have to lower [the dosage] or use a different drug during the competition phase. So all that stuff comes into play, and that’s kind of the starting point and it’s also kind of the important part -- is the medicals. And then our doctor, he might have the fighter do additional testing; he may have the fighter provide additional documentation; he’ll talk with the doctor, communicate with the doctor from the fighter, so all that comes into play. And then, sometimes, the TUE could be granted under some very specific conditions or it could be denied.