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Diego Brandao accepts nine-month suspension from USADA for positive marijuana test

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Ex-UFC fighter Diego Brandao has accepted a nine-month suspension from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) stemming from a positive in-competition drug test for Carboxy-THC, "a metabolite of marijuana and/or hashish," taken on Jan. 2 at UFC 195.

USADA announced the punishment on Thursday.

The suspension is retroactive to the date of the test, Jan. 2, however Brandao is also "eligible for an additional one-month reduction in sanction length pending the satisfactory completion of an approved anti-doping educational program," according to a USADA press release.

Brandao's test results exceeded the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) limit of 180 ng/ml and were taken within the six-hour window of in-competition.

Brandao, 28, lost to Brian Ortega via third-round submission at UFC 195 in Las Vegas, NV. He is currently serving a temporary suspension under the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) for his failed drug test. That case is expected to be heard at a meeting of the NAC later this month, and any sanctions levied upon Brandao would be in addition to the nine-month suspension handed out by USADA.

Brandao (20-11) is a one-time winner of The Ultimate Fighter 14. He was recently cut from the UFC on the heels of a felony battery arrest in early April.

Brandao was charged with four felony counts in the incident, including aggravated battery with great bodily harm, after allegedly pistol-whipping and assaulting several individuals outside of a New Mexico strip club.

Prior to his release, the Brazilian featherweight racked up a 6-4 record under the UFC banner, highlighted by a first-round submission over Dennis Bermudez. Brandao won back-to-back first-round stoppages over Jim Hettes and Katsunori Kikuno in 2015 before to losing to Ortega and setting forth the chain of events that would ultimately lead to his release.

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