Makhachev was pulled from the fight card after testing positive for a banned substance, as first reported by MMAFighting.com. A follow-up report by BloodyElbow.com identified the substance as meldonium, a heart medication that was recently added to the World Anti-Doping Agency list of banned substances “because of evidence of its use by athletes with the intention of enhancing performance.”
Dober confirmed the fight’s cancellation due to Makhachev’s Anti-Doping Policy violation via a post to his Facebook page, “I (am) terribly sorry and heartbroken to announce to my friends that my fight is cancelled, due to my opponent testing positive for an illegal substance. My passion to fight is not satisfied and it breaks my heart not to be able to give Omaha and the rest of the world a show.”
The original co-main event between Rashad Evans and Shogun Rua was blown apart when Rua had to withdraw due to injury. He was replaced by Glover Teixeira. Then the main event came unglued when Tony Ferguson had to pull out of the fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov. Nurmagomedov will still fight farther down on the card, thanks to late replacement Darrell Horcher.
The revamped bout between Teixeira and Evans was then slotted in as the new headliner.
Then, earlier this week, the rematch between Lyoto Machida and Dan Henderson was pulled, when Machida admitted to using a banned substance that resulted in an Anti-Doping Policy violation.
Makhachev on Friday initially weighed in one-half pound over the 156-pound limit, but then made weight within the one-hour time limit. But that was for naught, as it then came to light that he had also been flagged for violating the Anti-Doping Policy.
With the latest shake-up coming just 24 hours prior to fight time, UFC officials were left without any options for a replacement. The UFC on FOX 19 fight card is expected to move forward with a reduced field of 11 bouts.
(Photo courtesy of UFC)