UFC 211 has lost a pivotal, heavyweight fight, as the UFC’s announced that Ben Rothwell has been informed of a potential anti-doping violation. Rothwell was scheduled to face Fabricio Werdum at the May 13th card in Dallas.
As is typically the case with potential anti-doping violations, USADA has not disclosed what substance Rothwell has tested positive for. It has been announced, however, that the flag stems from an out-of-competition test done on February 6th.
Rothwell released the following statement, after the news of the flag went public (statement via MMA Fighting):
“With the recent news received from USADA, I would like to take this time to let everyone know I have been under the care of a physician and trying to overcome a medical illness.
“I would appreciate the chance to show that I have not cheated nor did I intend to cheat. Please hold your opinions of me until all the facts are out. I appreciate everyone’s support as I go through the process with USADA.”
Rothwell was a testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) user when the treatments were still allowed, and had an exemption for them. In 2013, however, the heavyweight tested for levels of testosterone that exceeded the allowed limits, and Rothwell was suspended for nine months.
So, it remains to be seen if Werdum will remain on the card, and who he might face if he does. Rothwell was looking to get back on track, as in his last fight back in April, 2016, he lost via decision to Junior dos Santos. Prior to that he had won four in a row.
UFC 211 will be headlined by a heavyweight bout between the aforementioned dos Santos and the champ, Stipe Miocic.