WSOF has back-up plan if Rousimar Palhares' drug test comes back positive before WSOF 9

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

At the request of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), Rousimar Palhares underwent a random urinary drug test two weeks out from his scheduled title bout against WSOF welterweight champion Steve Carl at WSOF 9.

NSAC chairman Francisco Aguilar confirmed to MMAFighting.com that the commission ordered Palhares, who lives and trains in Brazil, to travel to Las Vegas for the test, which Palhares underwent on Monday.

According to Aguilar, the test was ordered several days prior to Palhares' arrival in Las Vegas, however the timetable stalled because of the remote location of Palhares' residence and the need to find last-second travel arrangements.

Palhares currently has yet to receive his license to fight in Las Vegas, and the NSAC is "absolutely not going to give him a license until he passes a test."

"To be honest with you, I support the testing 100 percent. I think all fighters should be tested. But please give me a heads up or a notice, especially when you know the fighter is in Brazil. Or at least recommend somebody in Brazil for me to go to," said WSOF Executive Vice President Ali Abdel-Aziz on Tuesday.

"Rousimar was kind enough to get on the plane and to bring his camp and finish his camp here, and I know this is going to be difficult and stressful for him too."

Palhares (15-5) tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone following a December 2012 loss to Hector Lombard while he was still under the employment of the UFC. Palhares received a nine-month suspension as a result.

The results of the NSAC's latest test are expected to be finalized within seven to 10 days of the test. According to Abdel-Aziz, the promotion expects to know of the results on March 28, 2014, the day before WSOF 9 is scheduled to take place in Las Vegas, Nev. Obviously the timetable is not ideal, as a failed test from Palhares would immediately throw the top of the card into disarray a day out from fight night.

Abdel Aziz says that while he expects Palhares' results to come back without any issue, WSOF has already taken steps to ensure a contingency plan is in place in the event of a worst-case scenario.

"I almost 100 percent sure he's going to come clean," Abdel Aziz said.

"We wish we had more notice, but I'm not worried about Rousimar being clean. He was clean for his last fight. I'm very sure he's a clean fighter, but if anything bad happens, I have a back-up for Steve Carl. Steve Carl will fight regardless."

At the moment, that back-up plan appears to be 28-year-old Tyler Stinson, a Strikeforce and Bellator veteran fighting out of Grudge Training Center.

Stinson (27-9) currently rides a four-fight win streak into a scheduled bout against Josh Burkman on WSOF 9's main card. He most recently stopped Valdir Araujo via third-round TKO in his WSOF debut, and if the situation calls for it, he could find himself fighting Carl for the WSOF welterweight title sooner than he expected.

"On short notice you can't really prepare for anything," said Carl. "You just have to be ready for everything, and that's what I am. If it comes down to where Palhares can't fight and Ali has a back-up plan for me, then it looks like I'm going to fight the back-up plan, no questions asked."

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