Lyoto Machida was expected to return to MMA action in a rematch against Dan Henderson at UFC on Fox: Teixeira vs. Evans, which is better known as UFC on Fox 19. For “The Dragon,” it would be a chance to improve his win against Henderson when they first fought back in February 23, 2013, at UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche. Back then, Machida barely won as he was able to earn a split-decision victory.
Unfortunately for UFC fans, they will not find out if Lyoto Machida is still the better fighter in this match-up or if Dan Henderson has improved enough to oust Machida as it has been scrapped altogether. The reason was because Machida admitted to using a banned substance prior to his fight.
Lyoto Machida admitted to the violation of taking an illegal substance during an out-of-competition sample collection by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) last week, as reported by Sherdog. The USADA would later provide a statement on the matter in which they may reduce the harshness of Machida’s punishment since he came forward and admitted his transgression.
“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.”
As a result of Lyoto Machida’s violation, his fight against Dan Henderson has been scrapped from UFC on Fox 19 altogether. In its place will be Cub Swanson versus Hacran Dias which was originally a preliminary card fight. Henderson will be scheduled to fight in the “near future.”
The MMA community has responded to Lyoto Machida’s admitting of using an illegal substance prior to his fight, as reported by Bleacher Report. Dan Henderson may be given another fight in the near future, but that does not mean he is taking the situation gracefully. Henderson took to his Twitter account to express his disdain of the situation.
Take into account that Dan Henderson was already in Tampa, Florida, ready to fight it out against Lyoto Machida when the news of the latter admitting to using an illegal substance came to light. Ergo, Henderson wasted both money and time traversing to the venue for no reason, something Ariel Helwani sympathizes with.
Back to Machida, gotta feel for Hendo, who’s already in Tampa. That’s really bad timing for him. (Though that rematch did little for me.)
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 13, 2016
One UFC fighter who probably is surprised that Lyoto Machida was caught using an illegal substance is Luke Rockhold. The UFC Middleweight Champion is a strong advocate for stronger drug testing in the UFC. Rockhold also criticized the Black House Camp specifically for cheating with drugs given that three out of their four guys were caught cheating. Though Machida was a Black House Camp guy, Rockhold believed he was a clean fighter.
To be fair, the substance Lyoto Machida was red flagged for using was not revealed. This means Machida could have been busted for using an everyday, over-the-counter item that is on the USADA’s list of prohibited substances. For example, cold medications usually contain pseudoephedrine. According to USADA, one should not use such medications 24 hours before a drug test. However, most out-of-competition drug tests are randomized.
Nevertheless, Lyoto Machida versus Dan Henderson in their rematch is no more, but UFC on Fox 19 will still go on. The event will take place on Saturday, April 16, 2016, at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. Though most are watching for the co-main events, it is the venue in which Khabib Nurmagomedov will finally make his return to the UFC after almost two years of being sidelined by injuries.
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