Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior ‘Cigano’ Dos Santos is scheduled to make his return to action against former World Series of Fighting (WSOF) titleholder Blagoy Ivanov in the main event of UFC Fight Night 133 on July 14 in Boise, Idaho.
For Dos Santos, this will be his first Octagon appearance since being finished by champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 211 in May 2017. He was scheduled to take on Francis Ngannou late last year, but he was flagged by USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) for a potential anti-doping violation.
In the end, it turned out that the positive test stemmed from a contaminated supplement, but proving that wasn’t necessarily a smooth process:
“I thought, with USADA’s experience and their understanding, that they would be able to say what was a contamination and what wasn’t,” Dos Santos told MMAjunkie. “Not just because of the substance, but the amount, as well. But that’s not how it happened.”
Once this was proven, Dos Santos agreed to accept a six-month retroactive suspension that allowed him to compete immediately. Now looking ahead, Dos Santos admits that he didn’t know much about Ivanov when he accepted the bout, but rather that he was focused on himself and moving passed a tough chapter in his career:
“I’m not overlooking Blagoy, he was a champion in another organization, but honestly I didn’t even take anything about him into consideration,” Dos Santos said. “The only things I took into consideration were the ones about myself. …
“The most important thing is getting the car moving. Making things happen for me again and leave all this negative stuff in the past.”
And while he will indeed move on, Dos Santos, like many other fighters, feel as if the USADA process and the process that follows a failed test needs to be improved:
“We need to discuss this more,” Dos Santos said. “We need to bring this subject to light so it doesn’t happen anymore. Because fighting is our life. It’s all that we do. Imagine, for instance, a case in which the person can’t defend themselves and get a longer suspension.
“This is an entire life on hold. This can’t happen. This is a very serious subject, so it’s important that we discuss it more and more.”
What do you make of Dos Santos’ comments?