Dos Santos flagged by USADA, out of UFC 215
Published on Friday, 8/18/17, at 6:58 p.m. Eastern.
Former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos was notified today of a potential USADA violation for an unknown substance from an Aug. 10 out-of-competition test. Therefore, Dos Santos has been removed from his UFC 215 main-card scrap against Francis Ngannou.
Ngannou, who had been installed as a massive -335 ‘chalk,’ took to Twitter to express his frustration.
I’m very very angry!!!
Almost done with training camp and they just announced that my opponent is out for #ufc215
— Francis NGannou (@francis_ngannou) August 18, 2017
Dos Santos’s manager Ana Guedes release a statement to MMAFighting.com:
“We are still trying to understand the test results, so that we can investigate and determine what happened,” the statement read. “What we know as of now is that Junior dos Santos has never taken PEDs, has never knowingly used any banned substances, and has always supported USADA’s policies and efforts to keep the sport clean.
“If ever there was a fighter who made his position on this issue unequivocal, it’s Junior. We are confident that that we will be able to figure out what happened, and will provide an explanation once we have one.”
Dos Santos won the belt with a first-round KO win over Cain Velasquez at UFC on FOX 1 in 2011. He successfully defended his strap once with a second-round KO victory over Frank Mir.
‘Cigano,’ the 33-year-old Brazilian, is 1-2 in his last three fights. JDS got a second crack at the heavyweight belt since he lost it at UFC 211, but he was KO’d by Stipe Miocic in the opening round.
The UFC is currently looking for a replacement to face Ngannou, who is 5-0 in the UFC with five finishes (four knockouts, one submission). ‘The Predator’ has finished his last three opponents in the opening round. I’ll cast my vote for 13th-ranked Junior Albini to be offered the fight on short notice.
Well, about 15 minutes after posting this story, I saw that Albini was booked (so scratch that idea in the previous sentence) within the last hour to face Andrei Arlovski at UFC Norfolk. Another bout on that card in Virginia will feature Matt Brown vs. Diego Sanchez, who is moving back up to welterweight for the first time in many years.