A former UFC champion will be sitting on the shelf for the next couple of years, and I’ll give my thoughts on that news in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Fabricio Werdum Gets Two-Year USADA Suspension
Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum has received a two-year suspension from USADA following a positive result from an out-of-competition drug test earlier this year. Werdum, who was knocked out by Alexander Volkov in a big upset back at UFC London in March, was popped for the anabolic steroid trenbolone and its metabolite epitrenbolone during a random test on April 25. Werdum was set to fight Aleksiy Oleinik at UFC Moscow this coming weekend, but being flagged by USADA forced him out of the fight and he was replaced by Mark Hunt. The full details of Werdum’s suspension are available at the USADA website.
Werdum is 41-years old right now and won’t be eligible to return until May 22, 2020 when he’ll be 43. At one point Werdum was the best heavyweight fighter in the world but at his advanced age it’s hard to see him making a successful return to the sport in two years time, especially without the help of performance-enhancing drugs. It was possible at one point that Werdum would be a UFC Hall of Famer but this positive test definitely throws some shade onto that argument, and like other veterans such as Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida who tested positive, fans and media will likely question Werdum’s past accomplishments now.
With the UFC heavyweight division getting younger every year, Werdum will have a lot of work ahead of himself if he’s to make a successful comeback to the Octagon in 2020. It’s possible that he could still fight in the UFC — Hunt is 44 and fights this weekend, after all — but there’s a good chance Werdum’s career is over, and if that’s the case he has no one to blame but himself for this mess.