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UFC Fortaleza winner Mara Romero Borella will address 26-year suspension in Italy, but not now

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MMA: UFC Fight Night-Fortaleza-Santos vs Borella
Mara Romero Borella defeated Taila Santos via split decision in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

FORTALEZA, Brazil — Mara Romero Borella was victorious in her return to the Octagon, but won’t talk about the issues she has faced outside the cage just yet.

The 32-year-old flyweight, who defeated Brazilian newcomer Taila Santos via split decision in the preliminary portion of UFC Fortaleza last Saturday in Brazil, was hit with a 26-year suspension from Italy’s National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO Italy) last September.

According to reports, Borella and her boyfriend at the time were two of the 37 people linked to distribution of marijuana and cocaine in Italy. The American Top Team athlete reportedly served jail time and is currently suspended by NADO Italy until 2044.

The suspension has no effect to Borella’s career in the Octagon, though, and she returned Saturday to improve to 2-1 under the UFC banner with a win over Santos. Speaking with the media after the split decision victory, Borella laughed when asked about the situation.

”That’s a question many people ask me,” Borella said. “I think every person has a past, and as a public person people know about your past, when they wouldn’t (know) with regular people. It’s my past, it’s not hidden. It’s an old story. And for me it doesn’t make sense otherwise I wouldn’t be able to fight my first fight in the UFC.

”Honestly, I don’t want to explain now, but after this fight I’ll do an interview where I’ll address this, but I’d rather talk later and well, not like this. Nothing to hide, after everything that happened I can be an example for many people to be better than I was before. That’s it. I want to be an example for all people, they can be better people.”

Borella had a pair of wins overturned to no contests in Italy due to her suspension case in Italy, now holding a 12-5-0-2 record.

”I’ll explain it well,” Borella said. “Not that I don’t have time now, the story is very long and I prefer to talk about it later. No problem, really. I have nothing to hide.”

Borella has dealt with a knee injury in 2018 and made her comeback to the eight-sided caged 13 months after a Katlyn Chookagian in January 2018. Borella’s other UFC win came with a submission over Brazil’s Kalindra Faria in October 2017.