Jiri Prochazka Suffers From Panic Attacks After Enduring an Endless Stream of USADA Visits

Prochazka opened up about the anxiety he still suffers after becoming the most tested athlete in UFC history.

Jiri Prochazka
Courtesy of @UFCNews on X

On November 11, Jiri Prochazka will have the opportunity to become only the third man to capture the UFC light heavyweight championship on two separate occasions. 

After more than a year on the shelf following a devastating shoulder injury, ‘Denisa’ returns to the Octagon ready to take back the title he never lost. Standing in his way will be former middleweight champion Alex Pereira, who will look to claim his second world title in less than a year. 

Should Prochazka come out on top, he’ll be among the very elite when he comes to multi-time titleholders at 205. Thus far, the only other men to accomplish the task are Randy Couture and Jon ‘Bones’ Jones. However, Prochazka already holds one distinction over every other fighter on the roster, past and present; he is the most drug-tested competitor in UFC history. 

In 2022, Prochazka was tested an absurd 64 times, more than some athletes are tested during their entire career. And while he has only been visited nine times in 2023 by the anti-doping agency, he still experiences regular panic attacks while anticipating a knock on his door in the middle of the night. 

In the Czech Republic, yes [almost always the same USADA people],” Prochazka said of the situation during an appearance on The MMA Hour. “Yeah, I know them. One guy and one woman. Yeah [they’re nice].

“Sometimes it was like I woke up and [gasps] ‘Oh f*ck, today they will come, today they will come!” he added. “I need to be prepared for that. Because it was not good sleeping. It was not good sleeping, many times per week [makes blood drawing motion on arm] from injections, taking blood. Here in U.S. they just do, like, thumb, take the little blood, like a drop of it. But [in Czech] they took a lot of blood. Like one bottle of blood.”

Jiri Prochazka Only Has Two More Months of Dealing with USADA

Fortunately, Prochazka only has a couple more months of dealing with the agency after it was announced that the UFC would be ending its partnership with USADA as of January 1, 2024, bringing a close to their eight-year-long relationship. As of the new year, the UFC will use an in-house testing system led by George Piro, an ex-FBI special agent most known for heading up the interrogation of Saddam Hussein in 2003. 

The UFC will also work with Drug Free Sport International, who will handle testing duties. DFSI currently works with the MLB, NLF, NCAA, and NBA. 

“Now, I am free,” Prochazka said with a smile. “Two more months and then another [drug testing agency].”

Watch the full interview below:

Published on November 7, 2023 at 9:07 pm
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