Invicta FC champion Angela Hill has been granted an exemption from the infamous “four-month rule” of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy in order to make a timely return to the Octagon.
Hill will square off with Jessica Andrade at UFC Fight Night 104 on Feb. 4 in Houston. UFC officials announced the bout and explained the reasoning behind the exemption on Tuesday.
The UFC Anti-Doping Policy rule being addressed is rule 5.7.1, which reads: “An Athlete who gives notice of retirement to UFC, or has otherwise ceased to have a contractual relationship with UFC, may not resume competing in UFC Bouts until he/she has given UFC written notice of his/her intent to resume competing and has made him/herself available for Testing for a period of four months before returning to competition. UFC may grant an exemption to the four-month written notice rule in exceptional circumstances or where the strict application of that rule would be manifestly unfair to an Athlete.”
Hill and Andrade had initially been targeted for UFC 207 on Dec. 30, but the four-month rule derailed the fight. In further assessing the rule and considering changes to it, the UFC decided to exempt Hill from the rule and rescheduled the fight for its Super Bowl Weekend event.
That’s not to say, however, that Hill is not subject to drug testing. In fact, according to officials, she was re-enrolled by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in the registered testing pool (RTP) on Dec. 13, 2016, and has since undergone unannounced testing.
The UFC issued a statement explaining why it allowed the exemption, citing the following circumstances:
- Hill underwent a thorough education process on the UFC Anti-Doping Policy upon her first inclusion in the RTP in 2015.
- Upon her re-enrollment into the RTP on December 13, 2017, Hill received additional education and became immediately subject to no advance notice, out-of-competition testing by USADA, making her subject to such testing for more than 7 weeks before her competition. Since Hill has returned to the RTP, she has undergone unannounced testing by USADA, and will continue to be subject to such testing while she remains in the RTP.
- It was not at Hill’s discretion that she was removed from the RTP in 2015. The intent of the 4-month rule is to prevent athletes from unfairly manipulating their inclusion in the RTP.
- UFC and USADA are in the final stages of refining the UFC Anti-Doping Policy. Included in that refinement will be a change to the 4-month rule, whereby only athletes who chose at their discretion to be removed from the RTP will be required to have an extended presence in the RTP before returning to competition.
The fight with Andrade will mark the beginning of Hill’s (6-2) second run through the UFC. She made her way to the Octagon via The Ultimate Fighter, but after going 1-2 in her three UFC bouts, she exited the promotion. Hill quickly signed with Invicta FC, where she reeled off four consecutive victories, including winning the promotion’s strawweight championship and defending it once.
TRENDING > Tim Kennedy Announces Retirement, Acknowledges Father Time
Andrade (15-5) recently moved to strawweight following a spotty record in the bantamweight division. She has won back-to-back bouts over Jessica Penne and Joanne Calderwood while fighting at 115 pounds, and should prove to be a strong test for Hill’s return to the Octagon.
UFC Fight Night 104 features the return of Chan Sung Jung (aka “The Korean Zombie”), as he faces fellow featherweight contender Dennis Bermudez in a five-round main event match-up.
Follow MMAWeekly.com on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram