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Diego Brandao suspended nine months, fined by Nevada Athletic Commission for positive marijuana test

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The Nevada Athletic Commission on Wednesday voted unanimously to suspend ex-UFC featherweight Diego Brandao for nine months stemming from a positive in-competition drug test for marijuana metabolites that Brandao submitted on Jan. 2 at UFC 195.

Brandao's test results exceeded the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) limit of 180 ng/ml. The suspension is retroactive to the day of the test, meaning Brandao will be allowed to return to active competition on Oct. 2.

Brandao also received a 30-percent fine of his fight purse ($10,800) and will be required to submit a clean sample prior to relicensure.

Brandao, 28, lost to Brian Ortega via third-round submission at UFC 195 in Las Vegas, NV. He received a similar nine-month suspension from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for his failed drug test. That suspension will run concurrently with Brandao's nine-month sentence from the NAC.

Brandao did not attend his hearing on Monday. NAC Executive Director Bob Bennett suggested that Brandao receive a 12-month suspension due to his absence, however the commission ultimately settled on nine months.

Brandao (20-11) is a former winner of The Ultimate Fighter 14. He was recently cut from the UFC on the heels of an arrest in early April and charged with four felony counts, 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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