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TJ Dillashaw surrenders UFC bantamweight title, suspended one year after failed drug test

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TJ Dillashaw has joined a list of four other fighters in UFC history that have been forced to give up their championship belts due to doping.

The UFC bantamweight title holder confirmed that he has voluntarily given up his UFC bantamweight title after the New York State Athletic Commission and the United States Anti-Doping Agency determined he tested positively for a banned substance while preparing for his loss to Henry Cejudo for the UFC Flyweight Championship at ‘UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw’ in Brooklyn, New York on January 19.

As a result, he will also be suspended from fighting for a year retroactive to the night of his recent defeat.

“To all my fans, I wanted to be the first one to let you know that USADA and the NYSAC have informed me of an adverse finding in a test taken for my last fight.” said Dillashaw in a statement released through his official Instagram page.

While words can’t even begin to express how disappointed I am at this time, please know that I’m working with my team to understand what has occurred and how to resolve this situation as quickly as possible. Out of fairness and respect to the rest of my division, I’ve informed the UFC that I’ll be voluntarily relinquishing my title while I deal with this matter. I want to thank all of you in advance for the support.”

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Khabib Nurmagomedov, Justin Gaethje bout expected to take place on ‘Fight Island’ next month

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Justin Gaethje won’t have a lot of time to bask in his impressive UFC 249 victory.

UFC president Dana White has all but confirmed that the 31-year old will square off against Khabib Nurmagomedov unified lightweight title to take place on the mysterious location known as ‘Fight Island’ sometime in June.

“I don’t know if it will be the first one, but it will be on ‘Fight Island,’ unless miraculously the world comes back together faster than I think it’s gonna.” said White.

“Hopefully [‘Fight Island’] will be done by mid-June, and I could put on a fight that weekend that it’s done, or end of June.”

Gaethje, who was inserted into his UFC 249 bout with Tony Ferguson weeks before the fight due to Nurmagomedov’s inability to leave Russia, surprised the MMA world with a fifth round TKO victory on Saturday. He is on a four fight winning week.

Nurmagomedov is undefeated (12-0) since making his UFC debut back in January 2012. His last fight was a submission (rear-naked choke) victory over Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in the United Arab Emirates in September 2019.

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Conor McGregor to make UFC return with Las Vegas fight on January 18

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Former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor will be making his return to the octagon early next year

The controversial Irishman confirmed that he will participate in his first MMA fight in over a year when he headlines the promotion’s card at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, January 18, 2020.

“That is my comeback fight. It is 12 weeks this Saturday. I am in prime physical condition. I have agreed the date with the company,” said McGregor.

However, much of the details about the bout are yet to be revealed. He also prefers to keep the identity of his opponent under wraps for the time being.

“If I was to give you people the name, which I would love to do, I know the UFC would flip it because they are a crafty company.”

McGregor hasn’t fought since being submitted by Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October 2018.

The 31-year old is looking to rebrand his image after it has taken a hit due to various legal issues over the past couple of years.

Along with two sexual assault allegations against him, McGregor has had video of him punching an elderly man at a bar surface online, an arrest for smashing a person’s phone in Florida, and attacking a bus of MMA fighters at Barclays Center in Brooklyn last April.

He claims to have changed his behaviour, quit drinking alcohol, and will now devout all of his focus to regaining his MMA glory.

“I am focused here…I am structured now.” added McGregor.

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Colby Covington next in line to challenge Kamaru Usman for the UFC welterweight title

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It looks like Colby Covington has earned himself a title shot.

His dominant victory over veteran Robbie Lawler at ‘UFC on ESPN 5’ apparently caught the eyes of UFC president Dana White. White confirmed this week that Covington will be the first to challenge Kamaru Usman for his UFC welterwight championship belt later this year.

White applauded Covington’s efforts this past weekend.

“You can say whatever you want about Covington. You don’t like him, you don’t this, that, whatever. He put on a clinic against Lawler, who is a beast.” said White.

“Lawler’s been in all the big fights, former world champion, hits like a truck, and Colby completely shut him down. His cardio was impressive, and the way that he beat Lawler was even more impressive.”

Covington, 31, is currently on a seven-fight win streak and previously held the interim welterweight title in June 2018 but was sidelined for awhile due to nasal surgery and had to surrender the belt.

This will be Usman’s first title defence, and first fight since capturing the title with a unanimous decision victory over Tyron Woodley at UFC 235 in March.

The 32-year old Nigerian-American has won 14 straight MMA fights, and is undefeated since joining the UFC in 2015.

The fight is slated for the UFC 244 card at the world famous Madison Square Garden in New York on November 2.

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