Former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos was scheduled to face Francis Ngannou at UFC 215 in September 2017. He was pulled from the event after being flagged by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for a potential violation.
On April 25, dos Santos was cleared of any wrongdoing. He’s sat on the sidelines for ten months and wants the agency to change its policy on handing out automatic suspensions.
“They shouldn’t take you out of the fight based on, it depends on what they found on you. Like in my case, they found little amounts, traces of diuretic, a cheap diuretic, hydrochlorothiazide. So based on that, they shouldn’t just take me out of the fight. They should do the investigation, but they should keep me fighting,” he said during an appearance on UFC Tonight.
“If I get declared guilty at the end of the investigation, then they could double the penalty. But don’t take me out. Don’t stop my life based on, of course, what I take,” added dos Santos.
Cleared to compete, dos Santos takes on promotional newcomer Blagoy Ivanov in the UFC Fight Night 133 main event on Saturday. While Ivanov will make his UFC debut, he’s not an unknown. The Bulgarian was a World Series of Fight and Professional Fighters League champion and became the first fighter to defeat Fedor Emelianenko in a Sambo competition.
“I don’t know too much. I know that he’s coming from Sambo. I know that he’s tough. He has only one loss in his whole career, and he already beat the biggest heavyweight of all time I think, Fedor Emelianenko,” said dos Santos about his next opponent.