The UFC pulled this Saturday’s Lyoto Machida-Dan Henderson rematch after the Dragon admitted usage of a banned substance during an out-of-competition test administered by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) last week.
The fighters prepared to compete live on Fox. The promotion plans to match Henderson with an unnamed opponent at a later date. The former Pride and Strikeforce champion offered a blunt and brief assessment of his opponent on Twitter: “P.O.S — no respect.”
The beleaguered Fox card continues but with Shogun Rua and Tony Ferguson pulling out of fights before the admission forced Machida off the program it does so as a shell of its original self. Glover Teixiera steps in for Rua to take on Rashad Evans in the headliner and unheralded Darrell Horcher takes on undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov as a result of Ferguson’s injury.
Breitbart Sports queried the UFC’s former light heavyweight champion and other fighters in 2014 on performance-enhancing drugs after the suspension of Chael Sonnen. Whereas B.J. Penn ridiculed Sonnen’s excuse that he had used a banned substance for fertility purposes (“The EPO probably gives him better endurance in bed, no?”), Machida remained more circumspect in his response. “It’s hard to say what it’s really doing,” Machida told Breitbart Sports through a translator. “I don’t know how effective it is.”
Known for a cerebral, karate-based defensive style, Machida demonstrated quickness earlier in his career that translated into power, such as his highlight-reel true knockout of Evans. But he generally fought as a smaller, less muscular light heavyweight that looked vulnerable once larger light heavyweights such as Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier, and Alexander Gustafsson invaded the division. He transitioned with limited success to the middleweight division.
Whether the substance worked to restore fast-twitch response lost to the aging process or provide him the strength that he never really exhibited in abundance remains unclear. Machida’s Facebook page informed, “The supplement used by Lyoto was 7-Keto, that contains the substance DHEA, found in products sold at every supplement store and it’s very popular.” The social media page states that the substance did not make it on the prohibited list until this year. Machida volunteered to USADA that he used the supplement.
Machida owns wins over Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, Shogun Rua, Rich Franklin, Evans, Penn, and Henderson. He recently has looked all of his 37 years, dropping three of his last four fights. He becomes one of several of the sport’s living legends entangled in controversies surrounding banned substances. Former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (cocaine), former middleweight champion Anderson Silva (performance enhancers), and former Pride heavyweight champion Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (performance enhancers) all popped positive on tests. Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir recently announced that USADA reported to him finding a banned substance in one of his tests, putting the veteran’s career in jeopardy.
The UFC imposed new, more stringent testing and harsher punishments in July in a regimen administered by USADA.
“The UFC organization was made aware today by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, that Lyoto Machida declared the usage of a banned substance during an out-of-competition sample collection last week,” the promotion noted in a release. “Machida stated that he was unaware that the substance was prohibited both in and out of competition and, in accordance with the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, his disclosure of usage will be taken into consideration by USADA during any potential results management and adjudication process.”