The UFC made major moves over the weekend, as three of MMA’s most prominent fighters were taken out of the fight promotion’s rankings for failing in United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) sanctioned tests. One of the fighters is Jon Jones, who is the UFC interim light heavyweight champion.
The other one is former UFC heavyweight champion and WWE superstar Brock Lesnar, and finally making up the three is Lyoto Machida, who is also a former light heavyweight champion and middleweight title contender. With Jones, Lesnar and Machida out of UFC rankings, this poses questions about the future of their MMA careers.
Jon Jones’ removal from the rankings, could also translate into the stripping of the interim light heavyweight title from the fighter, though no official word has been released by the UFC, yet. A title unification fight between Jones and Daniel Cormier was supposed to headline UFC 200, but was cancelled when Jon tested positive for estrogen blockers.
Lesnar was also caught with the same substance, after he defeated Mark Hunt at UFC 200. The fight was supposed to relaunch his UFC career and put him back into title contention, but after failing USADA tests, his return to the Octagon now seems questionable.
Lyoto Machida, who was once the light heavyweight champion of the UFC, moved down to middleweight after a string of losses (and losing the belt) in his former division. Since moving, Machida has remained a consistent contender for the middleweight title, even having met former middleweight champ Chris Weidman in UFC 175 (which Machida ended up losing).
A fight with Dan Henderson was scheduled in April, but after Machida admitted to using a banned substance, out of competition, the fight was cancelled. According to Machida he was unaware that the substance was prohibited by the USADA.
The move to put Jones, Lesnar and Machida out of UFC rankings comes as a warning to other major stars in the MMA world-what makes you stronger, may actually kill your career.
PHOTO COURTESY: Antonio Fucito/ Flickr