UFC bantamweight contender Mayra Bueno Silva was knocking on the door of a UFC title shot before some shocking information came her way.
Bueno Silva, who stopped former champion Holly Holm in the main event of UFC Vegas 77 in July, recently revealed that she failed a drug test prior to the bout, citing ADHD medication as the culprit. “Sheetara” spoke with MMA Fighting to provide further details.
“I’m very sad for this because, first thing, this amount showing in my test, I don’t take in the competition. This is sad for me,” Bueno Silva told MMA Fighting.
“I stopped taking the medication the Monday of fight week. I’ve done this a lot of times, and then this time, I don’t know what happened. I stopped on the Monday. This medication, it’s not doping, but I can take this out of competition, and I always stop on the Monday. I don’t know what has happened.”
Bueno Silva says she has been dealing with the effects of ADHD her entire life as she has trouble focusing on singular tasks throughout the day. The 32-year-old has used MMA as a career path, but also as an outlet to harness those effects.
According to the surging contender, the UFC and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) have been quite helpful in the aftermath of the positive test, even going as far as to say that both entities have essentially cleared her of any wrongdoing. It now comes down to the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC); Bueno Silva’s temporary suspension was extended by the NAC at its recent commission meeting in Las Vegas.
“I’ve taken this for three years, and this time I don’t know what happened,” Bueno Silva explained. “I sent exams, everything I have all the time. Everything that USADA, the UFC asked of me, I respond. When USADA comes in my home, I show them, ‘I take this, I take this,’ everything.
“But this one, I don’t know. For USADA, everything is OK. For the UFC, everything is OK, because I do everything they ask me. But the commission, I don’t know what’s going to happen.
“Jeff [Novitzky] has helped me with everything, and talked to me. UFC has helped me with everything, and I appreciate this because the UFC, USADA, they’ve helped me. They say that everything is going to be OK.”
MMA Fighting reached out to Novitsky, but the Senior Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance has not responded as of yet.
Despite feeling that the UFC and USADA have cleared her, Bueno Silva doesn’t have the same confidence that her name will be cleared by the NAC, but she’s hoping for the best.
“No, [I’m not confident] because the commission is different than the UFC, different from USADA,” Bueno Silva said. “I have no confidence [they’ll clear me], but I hope that they say that everything is OK for me.”
While the MMA community can be quick to react to headlines without further context, Bueno Silva wants to reiterate that the positive test had nothing to do with looking for an edge in her performance in any way, and that she did the same thing for UFC Vegas 77 that she’s been doing for the past three years since taking the ADHD medication.
Additionally, Bueno Silva is appreciative for any support she’s been getting, and now has a new motivation to succeed and to capture a world championship in the UFC.
“It’s not helping, it’s not improving my performance, nothing,” Bueno Silva said. “It’s all about my ADHD, only this.
“Thanks so much for all of the support. I promise, I’ll be back, I will take my belt because that’s my belt. This is for the UFC fans, for everybody that has ADHD.”