A new fight announcement as well as two USADA suspensions and a trio of fight cancellations form the basis of today’s MMA odds and ends.
Curtis Millender vs. Siyar Bahadurzada, UFC 232
A welterweight bout between Curtis Millender and Siyar Bahadurzada will take place at UFC 232, which takes place December 29 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. MMAjunkie.com broke the news. Millender (16-3) is 2-0 so far in the UFC with a knockout win over Thiago Alves and a decision win over Max Griffin. He is currently on an eight-fight win streak and has fought for not only the UFC but also for Bellator and LFA, making him an experienced prospect who is ready to break through into top contender status. Bahadurzada (24-6-1) is 4-2 in the UFC and is coming off of three straight stoppage wins over Brandon Thatch, Rob Wilkinson and Luan Chagas. Bahadurzada has not fought very much since joining the UFC in 2012, but for the most part he has been extremely impressive when healthy with all four of his UFC wins coming by stoppage and both his losses coming by decision. This is a really good matchup between two solid welterweights, but I’d have to favor Millender here. He’s the younger fighter, he’s the bigger fighter, and he’s been far more active. I’d actually peg Millender as a pretty sizeable favorite in this fight.
Marco Polo Reyes Suspended By USADA
USADA announced UFC lightweight Marco Polo Reyes was given a six-month suspension for using a supplement that contained the banned substance ostarine. USADA gave its full description of what happened in a statement on its website. Clearly USADA didn’t feel like Reyes intentionally took a banned substance, hence the lowered suspension for a first-time offender. UFC welterweight Tim Means was suspended a few years ago for ostarine and was given a lowered suspension when USADA determined he took a banned substance, so the precedence was there to lower the suspension.
Marvin Vettori Flagged By USADA
USADA recently made a change to its policy as it does not announce if a fighter has been flagged until its investigaton has been fully completed. However, the fighters themselves can reveal they have been suspended, which is what middleweight Marvin Vettori did. Vettori took to social media to explain that he has not competed since April as he is currently under a USADA investigation for taking the banned substance ostarine. Like Reyes and Means before him, there’s a very good chance Vettori took this substance unintentionally, but we will have to wait and find out what USADA says. For now, don’t expect Vettori back in the cage anytime soon.
Three Upcoming Fights Cancelled
The following three fights have been scrapped due to injuries, and at this point no replacement bouts have been booked:
– Saparbek Safarov (injured) vs. Alonzo Menifield, UFC Fight Night 139
– Maryna Moroz (injured) vs. Ariane Lipski, UFC Fight Night 140
– Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (injured) vs. Li Jingliang, UFC Fight Night 141
With all three of these fights coming up in the next month, we should get word of possible replacement fights soon, though it wouldn’t surprise me if the UFC just rebooked these fights for cards in 2019.