Colorado Springs, Colo.: USADA announced today that Alen Amedovski, of Trento, Italy, has accepted a six-month sanction for a violation of the UFC® Anti-Doping Policy after testing positive for a prohibited substance.
Amedovski, 31, tested positive for Carboxy-THC, the pharmacologically-active cannabinoid metabolite of cannabis, marijuana and/or hashish, at a urinary concentration exceeding the Decision Limit for this Threshold Substance, stemming from an in-competition sample collected on April 20, 2019, at Fight Night 149 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Cannabis, marijuana and hashish are in the class of Cannabinoids and are Specified Substances prohibited in-competition under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.
Amedovski accepted a six-month period of ineligibility, which began on April 20, 2019, the day his positive sample was collected. Based on Amedovski’s successful completion of a USADA approved drug awareness and management program, his period of ineligibility was reduced by three months.
Two of the UFC’s most exciting fighters will go head to head in the UFC on ESPN+ 16 main event on Sept. 14 in Vancouver, when Justin Gaethje faces Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.
Cerrone teased the fight on his Instagram account on Wednesday, saying, “Just got off the phone with my ole Buddy. And at 155 it’s kinda are only option. He told me Cowboy let’s go make this money. And if I can Promise y’all something this is a fight y’all Do Not Want to miss. O and of course it’s on short notice.”
UFC president Dana White confirmed to MMAWeekly.com content partner Yahoo Sports that Cerrone was indeed talking about Gaethje. He also noted that the two will meet in a five-round non-title fight to headline the next UFC event on Vancouver at the Rogers Center.
“Get ready, Vancouver!” White said. “This fight is going to be ridiculous!”
Though Gaethje is 3-2 since arriving in the Octagon in 2017, he has never failed to excite fans. He has a go-for-broke style that he’s garnered him some spectacular victories countered by just as spectacular defeats. Every one of Gaethje’s fights under the UFC banner has ended in a knockout… for good or for bad.
Cerrone’s career has been a similar one, although he tends to end up on the winning end more often than not. Having spent the majority of his professional career fighting in the Octagon, Cerrone holds the UFC record for most overall victories with 23.
Gaethje and Cerrone are performance bonus machines, so they’re certainly odds-on favorites to earn a bonus or two in Vancouver.
Gaethje has won his last two bouts, knocking out James Vick and Edson Barboza in back-to-back efforts. He’ll look to do the same with longtime friend Cerrone, and continue to put his name in the thick of title talk.
Cerrone is in a different position, looking to rebound from a loss to top lightweight contender Tony Ferguson, who ended Cowboy’s three-fight winning streak that he had hoped to parlay into a title shot. He’ll now look to rebound against Gaethje and continue his championship quest anew.
Max Holloway won the interim featherweight championship in December of 2016 with an impressive performance against Anthony Pettis. Now the undisputed champion, Holloway faces Frankie Edgar in the main event of UFC 240 on July 27.
UFC 240: Holloway vs. Edgar takes place at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Canada. The featherweight title fight headlines the 12-fight card. The events also marks the return of former women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg. In her first fight since losing the belt to Amanda Nunes, the Brazilian faces undefeated Felicia Spencer in the co-main event.
A lightweight fight between Donald Cerrone and Justin Gaethje is confirmed to headline UFC on ESPN+ 16 in September.
UFC President Dana White announced the matchup to Yahoo! Sports. UFC on ESPN+ 16: Donald Cerrone vs. Justin Gaethje will takes place on Saturday, September 14 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. The entire card will stream on ESPN+.
When Cerrone steps in the cage he will be the first fighter to make four octagon appearances this year. Gaethje is considered to be the most exciting fighter in the sport.
Stay tuned to FightBook MMA as we will continue to bring you more news on this card in the upcoming days.
UFC on ESPN+ 16 lineup so far:
Donald Cerrone vs. Justin Gaethje Nikita Krylov vs. Glover Teixeira David Branch vs. Andrew Sanchez Todd Duffee vs. Jeff Hughes Augusto Sakai vs. Marcin Tybura Misha Cirkunov vs. Jim Crute Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Uriah Hall
(Click on the fight below and then scroll down to see in-fight live stats and full results, courtesy of Fight Analytics. The first UFC on ESPN 4: Dos Anjos vs. Edwards bout from San Antonio, Texas, is scheduled to begin on Saturday, July 20, at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT.)
The Ultimate Fighting Championship lands in San Antonio, Texas, this week for UFC on ESPN 4, where former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos continues his quest to become the welterweight champion as he squares off with fellow 170-pound contender Leon Edwards in the main event.
Dos Anjos immediately shot into title contention when he moved up to the welterweight division on the strength of three consecutive victories over top contenders, including former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler. He fell short in his battle with Colby Covington for the interim title. He followed that with a loss to current champion Kamaru Usman before the Nigerian became the champion.
Dos Anjos bounced back with a win over Kevin Lee and needs the victory over Edwards to keep his name near the top of the welterweight leaderboard.
Edwards, who also has a loss to Usman on his record, is in a much better position to earn a shot at redemption than Dos Anjos. Since losing to Usman in 2015, he has since won seven fights in succession, including victories over the likes of Gunnar Nelson and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.
A win over Dos Anjos might be all that he needs to rocket into the upper echelon of the welterweight division and start his campaign for a title shot.
The UFC on ESPN 4 fight card also features several key heavyweight match-ups, including Aleksei Oleinik vs. Walt Harris, Greg Hardy vs. Juan Adams, and Andrei Arlovski vs. Ben Rothwell.
Just when talk of Floyd Mayweather wanting to mix it up with Conor McGregor or Khabib Nurmagomedov seemed to die down, Nurmagomedov’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, has stirred it up again.
“Floyd Mayweather, to this day, keep begging to fight Khabib; begging. Floyd run out of money. I’m telling you, people reaching out to me every week about Floyd to fight Khabib, but at the end of the day, we’re not interested… for now,” Abdelaziz told TMZ Sports.
Nurmagomedov is currently slated to fight Dustin Poirier to unify the UFC lightweight and interim lightweight titles in the UFC 242 headliner on Sept. 7 in Abu Dhabi. After that… who knows?
Nurmagomedov is likely to continue his run in the UFC, but if a Mayweather bout a la Mayweather vs. McGregor were to present itself, it would surely be tough to pass up. For now, however, we’re not holding our breath that such a fight is going to happen.
After making record-setting work of Ben Askren at UFC 239, welterweight Jorge Masvidal has etched his name amongst the top contenders to UFC champion Kamaru Usman. With Usman sidelined until at least late this year, Masvidal shifted his focus to the “money fight” and Conor McGregor.
UFC president Dana White, however, recently told TMZ Sports not only is Masvidal not getting a fight with McGregor, he’s getting a big “hell no” to it.
“Masvidal is too big for Conor. (McGregor has fought at 170 before) but he shouldn’t have. I hated that he did it. Not only did I hate that he did it once, I hated that he did it twice,” White said when caught on the street by TMZ.
“There’s plenty of fights for (Masvidal) in his weight division without Conor. He’s too big for Conor. Conor doesn’t belong at 170. He’s got the balls to fight at 170, but he doesn’t belong there. Hell no.”
Just what is next for Conor McGregor, if not Jorge Masvidal? That is a good question, but one that appears to have an answer somewhere in the lightweight division.
“He’ll either be back this year or early next year,” White said of McGregor’s return. “We’ll see how this whole thing plays out in September.”
The fighters that most make sense for McGregor are all in the Top 5, but with champion Khabib Nurmagomedov unifying his belt with that of interim champion Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in September, that bout is expected to set the dominoes of match-ups in motion, particularly when it comes to McGregor.
Nurmagomedov holds a dominant win over McGregor at UFC 229 in October 2018, so if he wins, it’s not likely that McGregor would get the rematch he wants with the Dhagestani fighter. In fact, White said emphatically that McGregor would not get the winner of Khabib vs. Poirier regardless of who wins.
“No. No (he won’t get the UFC 242 winner). But (that fight) will shake a lot of things up whoever wins that fight.”
If Nurmagomedov loses, there is a good chance McGregor would get the rematch that he so desperately wants. But there are other match-ups that make sense as well.
If Nurmagomedov wins, he’ll likely draw top contender Tony Ferguson next, although they have tried on numerous occasions to face each other, but have yet to make it to the cage. That would likely leave McGregor to face Poirier, whom he holds a victory over at featherweight in 2014 or an enticing match-up with fellow Top 5 contender Justin Gaethje.
So it appears that we’ll be waiting until at least September before we know when, where, and against whom McGregor makes his UFC return.