THURSDAY NEWS DIGEST 1/5: Lesnar officially suspended for one year, eligible to return later this year (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

By Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch contributor

Brock Lesnar (photo credit Joshua Dahl © USA Today Sports)

Brock Lesnar has officially been suspended one-year for his UFC 200 USADA failure.

Lesnar was flagged for clomiphene and its metabolite, 4-hydroxyclomiphene, on two tests. One was taken out of competition, on June 28, 2016, less than two weeks before his UFC 200 fight with Mark Hunt. The second test was on July 9, 2016, the day of the fight.

The suspension was one year as opposed to the two-year ban threatened under UFC’s Anti-Doping Program because clomiphene is classified as a “prohibited substance” and comes with a lesser penalty. Lesnar will be eligible to fight again after July 15, 2017.

Lesnar fought for the first time since December 2011 at UFC 200, defeating Mark Hunt by unanimous decision. It was a surprise to many to see Lesnar back in mixed martial arts as he had left the sport after suffering from diverticulitis, a disease that left him depleted and vulnerable. He was also thought to be under an exclusive contract to WWE as a professional wrestler, but negotiated the ability to fight for UFC.

The suspension shouldn’t affect his standing with WWE. Lesnar has wrestled twice for the company since the failure was announced and has made several televised appearances. It was revealed shortly after the failure that Lesnar, as a part-time performer, is not subject to their drug testing policy and thus would not face any punishment.

Lesnar could be prevented from wrestling in some states due to the suspension as he has also been officially suspended one-year by the Nevada Athletic Commission. Any athletic commission that regulates professional wrestling could prevent Lesnar from performing, but it shouldn’t be an issue. His next two scheduled wrestling appearances are in Texas, a state notorious for under-regulating MMA, let alone pro wrestling, and Florida, which does not sanction professional wrestling.

Hiscoe’s Analysis: Considering the payday and the fact he probably wasn’t going to fight in the next year anyway, Lesnar is still coming out way ahead from all of this. His main employer isn’t going to punish him in anyway and he’ll be free to fight again in six months, if he so chooses and if the offer is right. Considering UFC wants as many big fights as they can get, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lesnar back in the cage by year’s end. The big question is will he be contractually free to take another fight, or was UFC 200 a one-time deal that he was given a pass to do. Brock Lesnar usually ends up doing what he wants to do, so if he wants to fight, we’ll see him fight again soon.


-Mark Hunt has finally accepted a fight with Alistair Overeem for UFC 209. He had previously been asking for provisions to his contract for further compensation should his opponent fail a drug test but he told “Stuff” that he took the fight for the money. “I had no other option,” Hunt said. “I can’t work anywhere else so what am I supposed to do? Let my family starve?”

-Bryan Caraway is out of his fight with Jimmie Rivera scheduled for Jan. 15 in Phoenix, claiming an undisclosed injury. John Dodson quickly put his name out there to step in on short notice, but no announcement has been made regarding a new opponent. Rivera and Caraway were set to open the main card of the FS1 show.

-The FITE app has announced an MMA and Muay Thai Marathon this Saturday starting at 6 p.m. featuring Reality Fighting MMA, XFN 12, German MMA Championship.


-Bellator has announced the following fights to support the Fedor Emelianenko vs. Matt Mitrione fight for Feb. 18 from San Jose.

Cheick Kongo vs. Oli Thompson
Adam Piccolotti vs. Brent Primus
David Douglas vs. James Terry
Cesar Gonzalez vs. Nikko Jackson
Juan Cardenas vs. Luis Vargas
Carlos Eduardo Rocha vs. Danasabe Mohammed
Anthony Do vs. Bobby Escalante
Jeremy Murphy vs. Matthew Ramirez
J.J. Okanovich vs. Paradise Vaovasa
Roque Reyes vs. Justin Tenedora

-Paul Craig vs. Tyson Pedro at UFC 209 on March 4 from Las Vegas


B.J. Penn vs. Kenny Florian from UFC 101 in August 2009.

NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: WEDNESDAY NEWS DIGEST 1/4: Mirko Cro Cop says he’s now retired for good, Ortiz and Sonnen exchange verbal jabs (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

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