A challenging week for the UFC just got a lot worse.
Just a few days ago, we wrote about the incredible action coming your way in the wake of UFC 217 last weekend. Since then, Frankie Edgar has withdrawn from UFC 218’s main event against Max Holloway and another former champion in Dominick Cruz was forced to step down from UFC 219 with an arm injury.
Now, ex-middleweight champion and all-round legend Anderson Silva has officially been flagged for a potential violation of USADA’s drug testing policy.
In a statement, the UFC said:
“The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Anderson Silva of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collected on October 26, 2017. As a result, Silva has been provisionally suspended by USADA.
Due to the proximity of Silva’s upcoming scheduled bout at UFC Fight Night, Shanghai, China on November 25, 2017 against Kelvin Gastelum, Silva has been removed from the card and UFC is currently seeking a replacement.”
USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Silva.
This means that another main event in Silva versus Kelvin Gastelum has been cancelled.
While losing someone with the star power of Silva due to a potential drug test failure is bad enough at the best of times, this comes as a particular blow to the UFC given both the timing and the fact that this is their first foray onto mainland China (having previously held events in Macau) – a potentially very lucrative market.
Silva previously failed drug tests in 2015 following his win over Nick Diaz, which was subsequently overturned to a ‘no-contest’.