Three UFC fighters suspended by NAC for positive drug tests including amphetamine, marijuana, more

·3 min read

Three UFC fighters have been suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) following recent drug tests surrounding bouts that took place at the UFC Apex.

On Wednesday, the NAC handed out disciplinary action to the three fighters, who all tested positive for different banned substances. The suspensions and fines varied for each fighter.

Fighters suspensions will only terminate on the basis that all fines and fees are paid – and the fighter followed and passed all additional required drug testing procedures.

Daniel Pineda

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 12: (L-R) Daniel Pineda punches Cub Swanson in their featherweight bout during the UFC 256 event at UFC APEX on December 12, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Veteran MMA fighter Daniel Pineda's June 26 fight was a difficult one. Against Andre Fili, he was poked in the eye. The foul rendered Pineda unable to continue and the fight was ruled a "no contest." Shortly thereafter, the urine sample Pineda produced on fight night tested positive for amphetamine, a banned substance under the NAC rules. As a result, Pineda was handed a nine-month suspension Wednesday, retroactive to the positive test. He was also fined a total of $2,554.38, accounting for the violation and subsequent legal fees. Pineda will be eligible to compete once again March 26, 2022. Wednesday was not the first time Pineda tested positive for a banned substance. In late 2019, Pineda was pulled from the $1 million PFL featherweight tournament final due to an elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio. He was later handed a six-month suspension.

Rodrigo Nascimento – ritalinic acid

Rising Brazilian heavyweight Rodrigo Nascimento engaged in a July 17 battle with France's Alan Baudot – and came away victorious via second-round TKO. However, Nascimento's urine test from the fight tested positive for ritalinic acid, a metabolite of psychostimulant drugs methylphenidate and ethylphenidate. As a result, Nascimento received a six-month suspension, retroactive to the test. He was also fined a total of $1,945.36, for the violation and subsequent legal fees. MMA Junkie confirmed with a NAC spokesperson shortly after the meeting Wednesday that Nascimento's win has been overturned to a "no contest." Nascimento will be eligible to compete again Jan. 17, 2022.

Chris Barnett – marijuana

Longtime regional headliner Chris Barnett made his long-awaited promotional debut in May when he stepped in on short notice to fight Ben Rothwell. The athletic big man known as "Beastboy" went toe-to-toe with Rothwell before he was finished via submission in Round 2. On May 22, Barnett provided a urine sample that tested positive for marijuana – a banned substance under the NAC's watch at the time of the test. Although the NAC has since changed its rules so marijuana-positive athletes won't be punished, the policy is not retroactive to pre-rule-change tests. As a result, Barnett was handed a retroactive four-and-a-half month suspension Wednesday by the NAC. He will also have to pay a total of $1,036.08 in fines and legal fees. Barnett will be eligible to return to competition Oct. 26, 2021.