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Viscardi Andrade regrets asking for UFC release during USADA suspension

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Viscardi Andrade (GC)
Viscardi Andrade hopes to re-sign with the UFC in 2018.
Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

Viscardi Andrade parted ways with the UFC a year after being given a two-year suspension by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), but he would have done things differently if he could go back in time.

Andrade failed a drug test 13 days before his last UFC bout, a win over Richard Walsh in March 2016 that was later overturned to a no-contest, and was given a two-year suspension that ends on March 20, 2018.

The 33-year-old fighter, who collected an 18-6 (1 NC) MMA record since his debut in 2006, remained active in Brazil during his doping suspension, collecting a win over Erick Silva in a grappling match and a decision victory under kickboxing rules at last week’s WGP event.

Before competing in those matches, Andrade asked to be released by the UFC.

“I fought the athletic commission for a year, and then I asked the UFC to release me so I could fight for other promotions,” Andrade told MMA Fighting. “I thought that the commission would only stop me from fighting in the United States, but as soon as the UFC granted me the release, the commission sent me a letter saying that I couldn’t fight MMA anywhere in the world or they would give me an additional four-year suspension.”

“I was already close to signing with an Asian promotion,” he added. “After that, I decided to look out for things I could compete at, so I did that ADCC superfight with Erick Silva, won a Muay Thai bout via first-round knockout in Thailand, and decided to test myself at WGP now. I couldn’t fight MMA, so I decided to stay active in whatever I could.”

Almost a year after being let go by Dana White’s company, Andrade regrets making that call.

“If I knew I wouldn’t be able to fight, I would have stayed there and waited,” Andrade admits. “I’ll be cleared again next month, and my manager is already in talks with some promotions, including the UFC. Who knows, maybe we’ll have good news in March.”

The jiu-jitsu black belt went 2-1 with one no-contest in the UFC, between 2013 and 2016, after going 3-1 during the second season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil, and believes that his positive record might help him re-sign right away with the company.

“I’m coming off two wins in the UFC, I won 10 of my last 11 fights, the majority by first-round finish,” Andrade said, “so that proves I’m one of the best fighters in the world. It doesn’t make sense to keep me out of the biggest organization in the world. I’m hoping to be back (in the UFC) and show my work.”

“I want to sign with a big organization,” he continued. “The UFC still is the biggest organization in the world, the No. 1, so that’s my focus, but I don’t close any doors. Maybe I wouldn’t fight with Bellator now because that would close the doors to a potential move to the UFC. My idea is to sign one- or maybe two-fight deals and see what happens.”