Augusto Mendes is no longer a UFC fighter.
Russian promotion Absolute Championship Berkut announced on Thursday that “Tanquinho” has signed a deal with the MMA promotion. Sources told MMA Fighting that Mendes, who had one fight left on his deal with the UFC, decided to part ways with the company after testing positive for banned substances in an out-of-competition USADA test.
It’s still unclear if Mendes will compete before his USADA case is resolved.
The jiu-jitsu ace was scheduled to face Merab Dvalishvili on April 21 when the USADA news came out, and he released a statement saying he would appeal the suspension and “prove my innocence.”
Mendes has already competed for ACB in the past, but for their grappling promotion. “Tanquinho” won a jiu-jitsu tournament in 2017, defeating three opponents in one night, and is now expected to compete for ACB also under mixed martial arts rules.
Mendes racked up a 6-2 record so far in four years as a MMA fighter, signing with the UFC after winning five in a row in the U.S. circuit. "Tanquinho" made his Octagon debut facing future champion Cody Garbrandt on short notice in 2016, a fight he lost by first-round knockout, and went 1-1 in his next fights with a "Fight of the Night" win over Frankie Saenz and a decision loss to Aljamain Sterling.