Antonio Rogerio Nogueira Pulled From UFC on FOX 26 After Potential USADA Violation

Antonio Rogerio

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is out of his scheduled UFC on FOX 26 match-up against Jared Cannonier.

The 17-year veteran was pulled from the December 16th bout after the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) found a banned substance in “Lil Nog’s” system stemming from an out-of-competition drug test administered on September 27th. The UFC announced that they are actively searching for a replacement opponent for Cannonier:

“The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Antonio Rogerio Nogueira of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collected on September 27, 2017. Due to the proximity of Nogueira’s upcoming scheduled bout at UFC FIGHT NIGHT: LAWLER vs. DOS ANJOS in Winnipeg, Canada on December 16, 2017 against Jared Cannonier, Nogueira has been removed from the card and the UFC is currently seeking a replacement.”

Nogueira posted a statement of his own on the matter, revealing that he tested positive for “a diuretic substance.” Here’s what he had to say:

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“Students, fans, friends, family: to all who are always by my side, I am here to share with you that today I was surprised by USADA (anti-doping control organization) that a diuretic substance appeared in my exams.

“I am here to try to clarify because we do not yet have all the explanations, but from now on we will investigate this situation in depth. I have told all of you that I am confident in my defense and we will find out what happened.

“I have never needed to take a diuretic and everyone who accompanies me mainly my coaches know that I never had any difficulties to lose weight and this is the function of the diuretic.

“As soon as the UFC schedules my fight I will start a process of diet and training precisely so that at the end of my camp I won’t suffer with weight loss.

“It is very difficult going through this for me as I have always been honest and especially with my work which I have dedicated myself and continue to dedicate myself as it’s my passion. Because of this unfortunately my fight was canceled and I was very sad about it all but I hope as soon as possible to clarify this misunderstanding and give you all a spectacular fight.

“Thank you all for your support and respect for me.”

MMA Fighting reports that the substance Nogueira tested positive for was Hydrochlorothiazide, the same substance Junior dos Santos tested positive for this past summer. At this point in his career, any lengthy suspension could mean the end of Nogueira’s career.

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Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira