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Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)

Anderson ‘Spider’ Silva fails drug test and is removed from Shanghai Fight Night card

The organisation’s first event on the mainland suffers from the withdrawal of the hugely popular fighter whose future is in jeopardy after his second positive test

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 11 November, 2017, 5:00pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 11 November, 2017, 5:00pm

The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s push into mainland China has been dealt a body blow overnight with the news that headliner and all-around mixed martial arts legend Anderson Silva has failed another drugs test.

In a brief statement posted on its website, the UFC said that Silva – arguably the greatest fighter the sport has seen – had failed an out-of-competition drug test given on October 26.

There was no information about what the substance was that Silva tested positive for, and no official ban would be implemented unless the fighter’s B sample also tested positive.

But if matters do head that way then it would almost certainly spell the end of the Brazilian’s career as he has previously tested positive anabolic steroids and was banned for a year by the Nevada Athletic Commission after his bout with Nick Diaz back at UFC 183 in 2015.

The fighter blamed that failed test on the fact he’d used pills picked up by a friend in Thailand to improve his sexual performance.

“The UFC organisation was notified today that the US Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) has informed Anderson Silva of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collected on October 26, 2017,” UFC said in a statement.

“As a result, Silva has been provisionally suspended by Usada. Due to the proximity of Silva’s upcoming scheduled bout at UFC Fight Night, Shanghai, China on November 25, 2017 against Kelvin Gastelum, Silva has been removed from the card and UFC is currently seeking a replacement.”

With a lifetime record in the sport of 34-8, with one no contest, and as the UFC middleweight champion for almost seven years, the booking of the massively popular “Spider” was expected to help the UFC in its push into the Chinese market and it had already helped create huge interest in the Shanghai card – the organisation’s first on the mainland.

UFC beefs up Chinese presence on its November Shanghai card as it announces the signing of two mainland fighters to its ranks

While the search begins for a replacement for Silva, the UFC has packed the Shanghai card with local talent including rising welterweight star Li “The Leech” Jingliang (13-4) and two Chinese fighters set to make their debuts with the UFC in featherweight Buren Wuliji (10-4) and bantamweight Liu Pingyuan (12-4).