Video: Francisco Rivera scores first-round KO in first fight since 2016 USADA suspension

Danny Segura
·1 min read

Francisco Rivera is back and in full force.

The longtime UFC bantamweight staple returned to MMA this past Saturday at XMMA’s first event in West Palm Beach, Fla. Rivera (12-7 MMA) knocked out Ryan Lilley in the first round of their featherweight co-main event.

The victory was the first fight for Rivera since his UFC run came to an end when he was given a four-year suspension by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in July 2016. At UFC 201, Rivera lost to Erik Perez by unanimous decision.

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In an out-of-competition test on July 23, 2016, Rivera tested positive for banned substance clenbuterol. He was originally given a two-year suspension, but an arbitrator determined Rivera had falsified evidence, and as a result, his standard two-year suspension was increased to four years.

The 39-year-old snapped a three-fight losing skid that came at the end of his career with the UFC, which ran from 2012 to 2016. He owns notable victories over Alex Caceres and George Roop.