Yuta Sasaki won’t be competing at UFC Fight Night 100 after all.
The Japanese flyweight was booked to face Matheus Nicolau at the Fight Night card in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Nov. 19, but sources told MMA Fighting that the promotion hasn’t found a replacement after Nicolau was notified of a potential United States Anti-Doping Agency violation.
According to a statement released by the UFC on Thursday night, Nicolau was informed by USADA of a potential drug test failure stemming from an out-of-competition sample collected on Oct. 13, 2016.
Sasaki (19-3-2), who defeated Willie Gates in his 125-pound debut in May, will get a new date and opponent for his next bout.
Nicolau (12-1-1) was looking for his second win as a flyweight inside the Octagon, four months after defeating John Moraga via split decision. On his Instagram page, the Brazilian denied using banned substances.
I was surprised last night with the USADA notification about a potential violation of anti-doping program. I didn't took the alleged substance and, until yesterday, even knew of its existence. I cooperated with the anti-drug commission with pleasure, since entering the UFC, performing at the last control urine and blood tests.
I wasn't negligent in this case or in my career. Now, my immediate goal is to take all necessary measures to find out what happened and prove my righteousness. Again, I reiterate my surprise with the test results. In eight years of career, I didn't use illicit substances to increase performance.
Like I always said, I train, fight, live and eat like a champ. And I know a champion play fair and win within the rules. So I wouldn't put my colleagues, my team and reputation at risk.
I'm sure that the truth will prevail in the near future,