Earlier this morning (February 10, 2015) we learned of some very surprising news regarding UFC 186, which is set to go down on April 25, 2015 from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Qubec, Canada. The main event features a bantamweight title rematch between TJ Dillashaw and former champion Renan Barao. The scheduled co-main event was a welterweight bout between Canadian Superstar Rory MacDonald and Hector Lombard, but the UFC announced today that the bout had been scrapped.
The company announced that a flyweight title fight between reigning king Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson and Kyoji Horiguchi would be the new co-main event, but gave no reason for MacDonald vs. Lombard being canceled.
It now looks as if we have a reason, as MMAFighting has confirmed with the UFC that Lombard tested positive for the anabolic steroid desoxymethyltestosterone during his UFC 182 fight night drug test, the night he scored his most recent win, a decision over Josh Burkman. This has been confirmed as the reason for the UFC 186 proposed bout being cancelled.
The UFC is currently looking for a new opponent for MacDonald, but what’s next for Lombard is unclear. Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) executive Bob Bennett said he was unsure if “Showeather” will receive a suspension at the upcoming February 18, 2015 commission hearing, but confirmed that he will have to meet with the commission in the near future to explain the positive test.
It also seems as if Lombard wasn’t aware of this drug test failure. The test results were reported back to the NSAC on January 13, 2015, but have just been made public today, which is unusual of the commission. When news first broke that MacDonald and Lombard would not be fighting, “Showeather” had no idea of the reason:
“I woke up this morning and I got a text from Ariel Helwani that he was sorry for my fight been cancel! I don’t have a clue at this point, but I trust the UFC made a decision for a good reason! He said.”
Once the unfortunate news of his drug test broke, the former Bellator champion was reached out to again, but neglected to comment, due to the fact the he didn’t know he had failed a test.
Another question that arises, is how the commission will deal with his UFC 182 win. Will they change it to a no contest? His opponent, Burkman, commented on the matter, voicing a very different view on PED’s than most involved in MMA:
“I don’t think steroids win fights although they do help,” Burkman told MMAFighting.com, “nor do I think we should judge the athletes so harshly. I still respect Hector Lombard as a man and as a martial artist. “Remember this while reading people’s reactions to UFC test results: those who judge others the harshest are the worst offenders and biggest liars. Anderson Silva insisted a life-time ban, and then he tested positive.” “I’ve seen PED’s used by athletes in all sports at all levels. This is not an MMA issue. It seems to be part of sports. All sports. Lance Armstrong, A-Rod, baseball, football, basketball, speed skating … Anyone who overlooks this is nieve. That doesn’t mean all athletes use them, I’m just not surprised when guys do”
We will just have to wait and see what’s in store for Lombard and MacDonald as well for the matter, but one thing is for sure. Performance enhancing drugs have hit MMA hard in 2015, and are unfortunately putting a black cloud over the sport we love.