Ex-UFC champ Nicco Montano among four fighters suspended six-months by USADA

Former UFC women’s flyweight champion Nicco Montano is one of four fighters facing a six month suspension from USADA for violating the UFC’s anti-doping policy.

USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) officials made the announcement on Tuesday.

Montano, Sean O’Malley, Augusto Mendes and Marvin Vettori all tested positive for trace elemnts of the banned substance Ostarine, which was ‘consistent with supplement contamination’.

“The trace amounts of ostarine found in each of the athlete’s samples was made possible by sensitive laboratory detection capabilities,” USADA officials stated. “However, as detection windows increase and the potential time between ingestion and detection lengthens, it has become more difficult for athletes to identify a contaminated product that may be the source of their positive test.

“As a consequence, the investigation period in ostarine cases is frequently relatively long, as has been the case in each of the cases announced today.”

Here’s how the suspensions broke down with their eligibility date to return:

Nicco Montano — tested positive for ostarine following an out of competition drug test on Oct. 25, 2018. Suspension started Nov. 15, 2018, which means she will be eligible to return after May 15.

Sean O’Malley — tested positive for ostarine following out of competition tests conducted on Sept. 5, 2018 and Dec. 8, 2018. Both positive tests were treated as a single occurrence because of the amount of ostarine in both samples ‘consistent with ingestion prior to Sept. 5, 2018’. His suspension began on Sept. 19, 2018 and he’s already eligible to compete again.

Marvin Vettori — tested positive for ostarine following an out of competition drug test conducted on Aug. 24, 2018. His suspension started on Aug. 24 and he is already eligible to compete again.

Augusto Mendes — tested positive for ostarine following an out of competition drug test conducted on March 7, 2018. His date of suspension started on March 20, 2018, which means he is also eligible to return to action.

Ostarine has been a common problem with drug testing in the UFC with numerous athletes testing positive for the banned substance in the past.

In addition to these four athletes, fighters such as Josh Barnett, Marco Polo Reyes, Tom Lawlor and Tim Means have also tested positive for ostarine under the UFC’s anti-doping program over the last few years.

Adrian Guzman expects to ‘bang it out’ with Jose Estrada at Combate Americas 35

When it comes to his February victory over Ryan Reneau at Combate Americas 31 this past February, featherweight Adrian Guzman is happy to have gotten the win, but he feels like he didn’t have his best performance.

While Guzman was able to pick up a second round TKO and finish his fourth opponent in four fights, he always feels there is room for improvement.

“I was satisfied with the victory, but I felt like I could have done a lot better in there,” Guzman told MMAWeekly.com. “Right now the goal is to learn from what I didn’t do right and go in there and perform a lot better; fix the mistakes I made in my last fight.”

Having previously competed at lightweight, Guzman is making the move down to featherweight, and can already feel the difference in how he moves compared to before.

“I feel I can move around a lot more easier right now,” said Guzman. “I’m a lot lighter on my feet. My footwork has gotten better. I’m starting to get more technical with my punches and learning to use my range more, and set up my attacks. My game has changed quite a bit.

“I’m going to work towards building myself up and getting a little bit bigger, so I’ll consider the 155-pound division for the future, but right now I want to try out the 145-pound division and see how it goes.”

On Friday in Los Angeles, Guzman (4-0) will look to remain undefeated when he faces Jose “Froggy” Estrada (5-2) in a 145-pound main card bout at Combate Americas 35.

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“He looks like a technical brawler type, who when he gets you against the cage likes to take you down,” Guzman said of Estrada. “I’m working on countering his flurry, when he comes in with punches, so I’m going to keep my hands up, roll some punches and throw straight down the line. If I hit him with a good one, I’ll put him down.

“I feel like we have similar styles because I like to come forward as well. I feel like we’re going to bang it out, and who ever moves backs up first will probably have to go for the takedown, which isn’t going to be me. Either way, whichever way the fight goes, I’ll be ready for whatever he brings. It’s going to be a fun night.”

When it comes to 2019, Guzman wants to remain as active as possible and build himself into a recognizable figure in the featherweight division.

“I’m looking to get in as many fights as possible,” said Guzman. “If I can, I’d like to get in another three fights this year.

“I’m looking to go in there, every single one of these fights, and get my hand raised. The ultimate goal is to get some experience, improve my record, and fight the best fighters out there. I’m trying to get some recognition and make a name for myself.”

After first FFC title defense, Ben Egli looking forward to more opportunities

After claiming a FFC title in his last bout of 2018, welterweight Ben Egli was looking to successfully defend it for the first time in his first bout of 2019 on April 19 against Joey Holt.

While the bout against Holt didn’t quite go the way Egli had envisioned, he was able to pick up the win with a second-round submission and put himself on a two-fight winning streak in the process.

“I got the result I wanted,” Egli told MMAWeekly.com. “Joey Holt was a very tough opponent. We knew he was wanting to throw hands, and we knew when he hit me he was going to hit hard, so we tried to move a little bit, and try to work my game and get him to the ground.

“I didn’t work my strategy quite like my coach or I would have liked, and got hit with a huge shot, and the rest of the fight was kind of a blur. I had to rely on my instincts and it just kind of worked out.”

With Holt having been a late replacement, it was Egli’s training that helped him make an adjustment to his new opponent and pick up the victory.

“I think a lot of fighters like me who have been doing it for a while know where we are really at and where we need some improvements, so as long as we can work on our weaknesses in between fights and we can continue to protect those weaknesses with our strengths and work on being well-rounded, it’s a pretty easy shift (from one opponent to the next),” said Egli.

“My skills and things that I’ve trained to be well-rounded are going to keep me safe and get the win.”

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Though Egli is able to work on his game between fights, he understands that he’s not going to be able to change everything at once, so he’ll be a constant work in progress going forward.

“Some of those things are things I’ve wanted to change since day one,” Egli said. “Some of it takes time. It’s not going to be done in just a few practices. There’s always going to be little adjustments.

“Every time you fight there’s always something to learn. Even with wins, there are always things that I want to do better. It’s about putting things together and making sure those (negative) things don’t happen again.”

For Egli, as long as he’s making those improvements, he’s happy to continue down the path he’s headed, regardless of what may come his way.

“I’m just trying to be the best fighter I can be,” said Egli. “That’s always been my goal: To be the best fighter I can be and go as far as I can and see where it can take me.

“I hope to get in at least two more fights in before the end of the year. I’m not going to look past anybody. I’m going to take whoever comes my way. I just plan on improving and continuing to win. With every win comes more opportunities, and I’m just happy and ready for whatever comes my way.”

Chris Weidman Calls Himself ‘Nightmare’ Match-Up For Israel Adesanya

The UFC’s middleweight division has some very interesting match-ups that could happen in the next few years. One of them being a meeting between former 185-pound champ Chris Weidman and current interim division champ Israel Adesanya. Weidman has been slightly critical of “Stylebender” in the past, and elaborated on his past comments when speaking on […]

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Khabib Set For Special Three-City UK Summer Tour

It looks like UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is set for a special three-city tour of the United Kingdom this summer. “The Eagle” is being advertised as “the Dagestan Prince and king of the UFC world.” He’ll have three stops in London, Manchester, and Midlands from June 11-16. Khabib had this to say about the […]

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Patricky Freire Believes Patricio Defeats Michael Chandler By KO

Patricky Freire believes his brother, Bellator featherweight champion Patricio Freire, will topple Michael Chander for the 155-pound title via knockout. Speaking to Bloody Elbow on his brother’s upcoming opportunity to become a two-division champion, Patricky said Patricio will “for sure” defeat Chandler by way of knockout: “A KO for sure,” Freire said. “I’m sure that’s […]

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Teammate Explains How Max Holloway Can Still Thrive At Lightweight Following UFC 236

Max Holloway wasn’t able to get the job done at UFC 236. The featherweight champion challenged Dustin Poirier in the night’s main event for the interim 155-pound title. Instead, it was “The Diamond” who left the cage victorious with a unanimous decision victory. Now, Poirier preps to welcome back division king Khabib Nurmagomedov later this […]

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Tony Ferguson’s Wife Lets Restraining Order Expire

The wife of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight Tony Ferguson has dropped the restraining order case. Last month, Ferguson’s wife Cristina filed a restraining order in Orange County California Superior Court. This wasn’t done due to physical abuse, rather it was done in an effort to get “El Cucuy” help after showcasing “erratic behavior.” At […]

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Stephen Thompson Targets Potential August UFC Return

Stephen Thompson doesn’t plan to rush his return to the Octagon. Thompson was in action last month against Anthony Pettis. For the first time in his professional mixed martial arts career, Thompson was knocked out. “Wonderboy” would like to get back to business, but he wants to ensure his brain is fully healed first. Thompson […]

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UFC Rankings Report: Islam Makochev Makes LW Rankings

UFC Rankings Report: Islam Makochev Makes LW Rankings. #url#

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