Ali Bagautinov has been suspended for a year after a pre-fight drugs test prior to his flyweight title fight with Demetrious Johnson at UFC 174 resulted in him testing positive for the banned substance EPO.
Bagautinov took the drugs test just under two weeks prior to the event, but he was still able to compete since the lab results didn’t come back until a later date.
EPO is a performance enhancing substance that’s generally used illegally by athletes to increase their stamina and endurance due to it’s ability to increase the production of red blood cells.
Despite using EPO Bagautinov still came up short in his title challenge, losing convincingly by decision to ‘Mighty Mouse’ in the main event of the event last month.
Prior to that the 29 year-old Russian, known as the ‘Puncher King’ had notched up three victories inside the UFC’s octagon in order to earn a shot at the title.
Reacting to the news of Bagautinov’s suspension, Johnson, who passed his drugs tests for the event, said he disappointed, but said it proved that you didn’t need performance enhancing drugs in order to be a champion.
“I am proud to be a clean champion and I believe that talent will beat drugs every time out, just like it did last month in Vancouver,” Johnson told MMAfighting.com.