At UFC 214, Jon Jones finally completed his comeback, knocking out his rival Daniel Cormier and recapturing the UFC light heavyweight title he never lost inside the cage. It was supposed to be a new beginning for Jones, a chance to restart one of the most successful careers in MMA history. Instead, it proved more of the same as Jones once again failed a USADA drug test and had his win overturned to a no-contest. Jones was looking at a possible four-year suspension. But last week, Jones was finally given his punishment – a 15-month suspension retroactive to July 2017. It was a significantly lighter suspension than most had anticipated.
USADA didn’t just hand Jones a softball suspension out of the goodness of its hearts though: Jones received a lesser punishment by availing himself of Article 10.6.1.1 in the UFC’s anti-doping policy which essentially states that a fighter can get a reduced suspension if he or she provides substantial information and cooperation in another case that can lead to anti-doping sanctions or even criminal charges. Jones appears to be the first fighter to have taken advantage of the rule (though his Jones’ manager denies that Jones ratted anyone out to get a lesser suspension), but he wasn’t the first to be offered it.
Last month, Fabricio Werdum was suspended by USADA for two years for failing an out-of-competition drug test in April. Werdum apparently got the same offer as Jones, but the former heavyweight champion recently told Combate (h/t MMAJunkie) he would never “snitch” on anyone else to save his own skin.
“What surprised me the most was at the end of the interview, it was something that I found absurd,” Werdum said. “They said, ‘Werdum, here’s the thing: If you tell on someone …’ It was what you could call ‘delacao premiada’ (plea bargain). ‘Werdum, if you tell on someone’ – using the slang, if you’re a snitch – ‘we’ll shorten your suspension. Because you’re going to have to pay something. Even if we find the substance in any of the products we test, even if we find it, you’ll have to pay something.’
“… For the guy to make me an offer like that, to snitch on someone, that goes against my principles. I can’t tell on someone. Even if I knew, I wouldn’t do it. How am I going to snitch on someone to make it better for me, to lower my suspension or whatever?”
Werdum tested positive for the anabolic steroid trenbolone and its metabolite epitrenbolone in an out-of-competition urine screening conducted on April 25 in advance of his scheduled UFC Moscow fight against Aleksei Oleinik. His refusal to “snitch” on anyone else didn’t do him any favors with USADA who gave him a two-year suspension fating retroactively to May 22 — the date of his provisional suspension — meaning the earliest he will be eligible to compete is on May 22, 2020. For Werdum, a first-time offender, that seems overly harsh especially given that a repeat offender like Jones only got about 60 percent as stern a punishment as he did (though, true to form, Werdum did not even name Jones as the party he was speaking about).
“I’m not going to name names, but I saw that recently a guy who was supposed to have caught four years ended up catching 15 months,” Werdum said. “And I caught 24 months. How come? If it was his second or third offense? Is it two weights and two measures? How does that work? It’s very strange, really.”
Ultimately, Werdum’s adherence to MMA omerta could end up costing him his career. At 41 years old, “Vai Cavalo” won’t be eligible to return to action until his is well into he is 43. And though other fighters have had success into their 40s, Werdum admits that though he does not wish to retire yet, this suspension may force his hand, or force him to leave the UFC.
“I want to keep fighting,” Werdum concluded. “I’m training every day – of course, I’m not training with the same intensity of when I have a fight. … I’ve thought of fighting in a different country. I’m going to see what I’ll do now. It’s hard now – it’s all very recent. I still have to talk to the UFC. I’m still working on TV as a commentator (with the UFC’s Spanish-language broadcasts). There are many things happening and I need to take a moment to really think, because sometimes I’ll say something, and I’ll regret it later.
“… I’ll have to see what I’ll do. I have two more fights in the UFC. How long will I have to wait? Will I have to wait out these two years? Will I be able to fight in another country? What will I do? I don’t know yet. I’m still indecisive. I still have a lot of thinking to do.”
Results. Gegard Mousasi dominated Rory MacDonald plus the rest of Bellator 206’s results.
Results. Check out all the results from Rizin’s latest effort, Rizin 13.
Pig. Officials explain why UK fans stuck with ‘Peppa Pig’ instead of Bellator 206 main event.
USADA. UFC changes policy on when it announces failed drug tests.
No regrets. Kyoji Horiguchi has no regrets about choosing Rizin over the UFC.
Hardy. Greg Hardy improves to 3-0 with quick KO at XFN 352 show.
Bellator 206 post show.
Khabib training camp.
Dana not for it.
Top 10 title fights we were denied.
Severe MMA. Discussing Khabib vs. McGregor, UFC 229, and Peppa Pig.
Luke Thomas. Immediate post-fight recap of Bellator 206.
Last night was a tough one for me, unfortunately I didnt mentally show up ready to take on a competitive fight and froze in the cage. In this sport you pay a high price if you’re not dialed in and ready to go. I have zero excuses, gegard was a fantastic champion last night.
— Rory MacDonald (@rory_macdonald) September 30, 2018
Still not sure if this is just posturing or legit this time.
UFC 230 main event I’m waiting on you now Nate. You haven’t said yes…
I’m surprised motherfucker!
— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) September 29, 2018
Gaethje is such a hero.
USADA whereabouts are due today. Not sure why I waste my time filling this out. But come test me whenever. The only thing I’m testing positive for is Modelo.
— Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocic) September 30, 2018
Well. This happened.
Make it happen.
Brad Katona (7-0) vs. Matthew Lopez (10-3); UFC 231, Dec. 8.
2011: Dominick Cruz won a unanimous decision over Demetrious Johnson at UFC on Versus 6. This event also featured Anthony Johnson’s final fight at welterweight, a head kick KO of Charlie Brenneman.
2016: John Lineker won a split decision over John Dodson at UFC Fight Night 96.
Gotta respect that Werdum is so anti-snitching he wouldn’t even say he was talking about Jon Jones. Not that there have been any other fighters facing four-year suspensions who got off with only 15 months, but still.
Anyway, this is it. The big one. The one we’ve all been waiting for. Let’s not talk about it and hope that everything goes off without a hitch this week. Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow!
What are your thoughts on “snitching” to USADA?
I’m cool with it.
It’s bush league.
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