USADA Resolves Cases With Four UFC Fighters Including Nicco Montano

USADA announced on Tuesday that it has resolved ongoing cases with four UFC fighters. The four fighters in question are: women’s flyweight Nicco Montano,¬†bantamweight Augusto Mendes, bantamweight Sean O’Malley, and middleweight Marvin Vettori. All four fighters have accepted six-month sanctions for testing positive for trace amounts of ostarine, which USADA deemed consistent with supplement contamination.

You can read USADA’s full ruling on its website here.

Here are some more details about the fighters who tested positive for ostarine, and when they are eligible to compete again:

  • Montano (4-2) tested positive following an out-of-competition test in October 2018. Her six-month suspension is retroactive to November 2018, the date she was provisionally suspended, so she will be eligible to fight next month in May 2019 at the earliest. The former UFC women’s flyweight champion, no one had heard anything about Montano’s whereabouts for several months, and now we know why. Now 30 years old, Montano has not competed since a December 2017 win over Roxanne Modafferi.
  • Mendes (6-2) tested positive following an out-of-competition test in March 2018, so his six month suspension has technically been over for more than six months now. Mendes is just 1-2 overall in the UFC and hasn’t competed since a decision loss to Aljamain Sterling in April 2017, and he hasn’t won a fight since February 2017 against Frankie Saenz. At age 36, he doesn’t have age on his side, but this ruling should clear the way for him to return to the bantamweight division, or possibly featherweight at this point.
  • O’Malley (10-0) was quickly becoming a fan favorite in the UFC bantamweight division before failing an out-of-competition drug test in September 2018 and then another in December 2018. He actually took to social media to tell his fans he was suspended, so we knew where he’s been. His suspension is retroactive to his first positive test, so he’s eligible to return any day now. Just 24, O’Malley is a bright spot at 135lbs and is coming off of a “Fight of the Night” decision win over Andre Soukhamthath, though that fight took place all the way back in March 2018.
  • Vettori (12-4-1) tested positive following an out-of-competition test in August 2018, so he’s eligible to return now as well. The Italian middleweight has not competed since a split decision loss to Israel Adesanya in April 2018 which actually looks pretty respectable in hindsight. At just 25, he has plenty of time to come back and make an impact in the UFC.

As well, USADA also announced that UFC lightweight Mairbek Taisumov (27-5) has accepted a six-month suspension dating back to an in-competition drug test at UFC Fight Night 136 in September 2018, when he fought and defeated Desmond Green by decision. USADA found that he had ingested a contaminated supplement that contained the steroid stanozolol, and with a six-month suspension dating back to October 2018, he will be eligible to fight again soon. There has been no indication yet that his win over Green will be overturned to a No Contest, though there is certainly the possibility that could happen. Read more here.

And finally, UFC heavyweight Walt Harris had his split decision win over Andrei Arlovski at UFC 232 overturned to a No Contest after testing positive for a banned substance during an in-competition drug test. USADA found he had taken a contaminated dietary supplement. The suspension was for only four months, and Harris is already scheduled to compete at UFC Fight Night Ottawa next month. Read more about that here.

Written by Adam Martin.

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