Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Lyoto (The Dragon) Machida has been pulled from a televised UFC fight card Saturday after acknowledging use of a banned substance.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency informed the UFC that Machida had made the declaration during an out-of-competition sample collection last week.
“Machida stated that he was unaware that the substance was prohibited both in and out of competition,” the UFC said in a statement Wednesday.
“Given this information, UFC officials have elected to remove Machida from his scheduled bout against Dan Henderson this Saturday in Tampa, Fla. Henderson will be rebooked for a new bout in the near future.”
Machida apologized in a statement on Facebook.
“I want to tell you that I really didn’t know about this substance, so I listed it on my declaration form amongst everything else I was taking, and this substance was recently banned in 2016, so I take the blame for not knowing that, and I’d like to say I’m really sorry and apologize to my fans, team mates, and my family… I always try to play by the book, but unfortunately this happened,” said the Los Angeles-based Brazilian.
Machida said he had used a “very popular” supplement that contains DHEA. The substance is listed on WADA’s prohibited list under anabolic agents, which includes “the use of any other anabolic substances (such as DHEA) in a dietary supplement.”
The UFC said Machida’s disclosure of usage will be taken into consideration by USADA during any potential results management and adjudication process.
The 37-year-old Machida is currently ranked fifth among middleweight contenders by the UFC.
The main event of Saturday’s card sees Rashad Evans, another former light-heavyweight champion currently ranked No. 7 among 205-pound contenders, fight No. 4 Glover Teixeira of Brazil.
The original main event was a matchup of top lightweight contenders Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson that was cancelled when Ferguson was hurt in training