UFC and Western Australia’s Combat Sports Commission butt heads over I.V. legality

By Susan Cox - February 16, 2023

The UFC and Western Australia’s Combat Sports Commission are butting heads over I.V. legality.

Dana White, UFC, The UFC

What started out as allegations made by Dan Hooker concerning Islam Makhachev cheating at UFC 284 is now getting attention on both sides of the aisle.

It was Islam Makhachev (24-1 MMA) vs Alexander Volkanovski (25-2 MMA) this past Saturday, February 11th in the lightweight championship main event in Perth, Australia. The victor was Makhachev, via unanimous decision.

Following the victory, Dan Hooker put out the following ‘tweet’:

“Dumb c**t (Makhachev) thinks he can fly to Australia hire a nurse to give him an I.V and we won’t find out. Cheating dog.”

Makhachev’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, took to the defense and posted the following message on ‘Twitter‘, which was later deleted:

“For all those idiots out there, any fighter under the UFC banner can take 2-3 liters of IV as long as it’s done by a nurse or professional. Next week I’m gonna expose everybody. Islam Makhachev is the pound-for-pound king.”

Of course, Makhachev is not the P4P king, it is still Volkanovski, as was verified when the UPC posted updated results earlier this week. Makhachev comes in at No. 2.

The UFC’s Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance, Jeff Novitzky, issued the following statement clarifying I.V. usage:

“UFC Anti-Doping Program’s (UFC ADP) IV rule was modified in 2019. Athletes, managers and support have rec’d multiple advisories on this rule change beginning in 2019. All UFC ADP rules have been publicly posted since 2015.”

“The following IVs are now permitted without a TUE: Those rec’d in the course of hospital treatments, surgical procedures, clinical diagnostic investigations; Those rec’d from a licensed medical prof. after a licensed physician determines that they are medically justified; IVs of less than a total of 100 mL per 12-hour period.”

Concluding Novitzky said:

“Separate of the UFC ADP rules, athletic commissions require any athlete who receives an IV during fight week to (1) obtain permission from the commission before receiving an IV and; (2) disclose use of that IV to the commission after its use. Despite the fact that IV use is now permitted under UFC ADP if administered by a ‘licensed medical professional after a licensed physician determines they are medically justified,’ the required disclosure of such use to an athletic commission could possibly jeopardize the commission licensing the fight.”

Well, as the UFC 284 event took place in Australia and the Government of Western Australia’s Combat Sports Commission has the following document posted on their website:

“The Commission also prohibits the use of intravenous therapies which are used for aiding rehydration from excessive and deliberate dehydration. Any promoter, trainer, or other person registered with the Commission found to be encouraging the use of such methods will be sanctioned by the Commission. Any contestant known to be using these methods will not be allowed to compete.”

So, are I.V.’s legal or not?

Is it determined by the UFC or by the Country of Origin hosting the fight?

What are your opinions of I.V.’s being administered to fighters?

Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!


Islam Makhachev UFC UFC 284