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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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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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UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov hopes to fight three times in next 11 months

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UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is itching to get back in the octagon and wants to fight as much as possible in the next year.

Khabib’s agent Ali Abdelaziz told ESPN that his client hopes to participate in as many as three bouts within the next 11 months.

“He gave me very specific instructions. He said he wants to fight Sept. 7, and again in December. And if Georges St-Pierre can figure things out with the UFC by April, that’s the deal. He would like that fight in April.” said Abdelaziz.

“The lightweight division has a lot of contenders and we need to keep the division going…Khabib has done this before. He fought Edson Barboza, Al Iaquinta, and Conor McGregor in less than one year. If it can be Georges in April, he would love that fight. If not, it can be any contender.”

The topic of a potential rematch with Conor McGregor came up, and Khabib’s inner circle did not mince words. They believe McGregor doesn’t deserve a rematch, and the controversial Irishman will have to earn his way back to respectability before it is even considered.

“To be honest, Conor is going to have to go out there and fight somebody like Justin Gaethje, Tony Ferguson or Cowboy Donald Cerrone. He’s not a worthy enough opponent right now. That’s the feeling from all of us, as a team.”

Nurmagomedov is undefeated (11-0) since making his UFC debut back in January 2012.

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Colby Covington says a possible bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov would be the ‘easiest fight’ of his career

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Colby Covington is never going to back down from a little trash talk.

The former UFC welterweight champion, who is poised to fight Kamaru Usman at a yet-to-be determined date, was asked during an interview with Submission Radio if he would be down to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov assuming he beats Usman for the Welterweight championship.

Not only would he agree to such a fight, he feels he would dominate the undefeated Russian in the octagon (who coicidentally has the same manager as Usman).

“Yeah, I mean, it’s an easy fight.” said Covington.

“And he’s already been asking to fight GSP in between welterweight and lightweight, and I can make in between welterweight and lightweight cause I’m not a big welterweight. So, it’s gonna be more rewarding to smash two of Ali’s biggest clients and just leave him crying, dude. He’s already emotional. You saw how emotional he was at the last fight. So, taking down two of his clients and meal tickets is gonna be a sweet feeling.”

Convington is currently on a six-fight win-streak, and won his last bout via unanimous decision against Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 225 on June 9, 2018.

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