Former UFC flyweight title challenger Ali Bagautinov didn’t do so well against peerless champion Demetrious Johnson in the main event of June 14’s UFC 174 from the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, losing a lopsided five round decision to “Mighty Mouse.”
Today, news has broke that “Puncher King” has a whole new set of problems on his hands, as he’s been suspended for one year following a positive test for Recombinant Human Erythropoietin (EPO) prior to UFC 174.
EPO, a performance-enhancing substance that boosts red blood cells, is one of the four substances that Chael Sonnen recently tested positive for prior to his failed UFC 175 bout with Vitor Belfort.
British Columbia athletic commissioner Dave Maedal revealed the news today, stating that Bagautinov was allowed to compete at the June 14 card because the results of his June 2 drug test “were not available prior to the UFC 174 event due to lab processing times.”
This isn’t the first time that Bagautinov has run afoul of drug-testing protocol, as the International Sambo Federation suspended him for two years in 2012 after he tested positive for methylhexanamine following his word combat Sambo championship win in Minsk.
For his part, Johnson spoke up to MMA Fighting to express his disappointment at the finding:
“I’m disappointed to hear that Bagautinov tested positive for EPO. That’s very unfortunate news. But the moral of this story is that I proved on June 14 that you don’t need to cheat, you don’t need PEDs to be a champion. I am proud to be a clean champion and I believe that talent will beat drugs every time out, just like it did last month in Vancouver.”
You can’t argue with “Mighty Mouse” there, but for every clean fighter picking up a big win, there may be many more dirty ones who never get caught. Will the black eye of PEDs ever leave the sport of MMA?
Photo: Anne-Marie Sorvin for USA TODAY Sports