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Holly Holm's controversial deal with illegal supplement manufacturer sparks UFC response

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In a curious move, current UFC women's Bantamweight titleholder Holly Holm signed a two-year endorsement deal with Hi-Tech, which is a pharmaceutical company that produces supplements carrying an amphetamine-like stimulant called DMAA.

According to USA Today, DMAA was deemed illegal by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as the World Anti-Doping Administration (WADA), several years back because of its link to cardiovascular issues. The stimulant promotes weight loss, muscle growth, and overall performance enhancement.

"Preacher's Daughter," who made it to the top of the 135-pound mountain by collapsing previous champion Ronda Rousey back in November, has been involved in combat sports for over a decade and surely knows the risks involved and what partnering up with an illegal supplement manufacturer can do to her image.

However, the former 18-time world champion boxer was sponsored by a company known as Intel Pharma that has sold products containing Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMS), which are essentially less harmful anabolic steroids, prior to her collision with Rousey.

Holm's partnership with Intel Pharma came to light in the days following her main event opposite "Rowdy" in Australia, but company owner Langdon Suggs has since revealed both sides have parted ways.

As one might imagine, her employer was none too thrilled with this latest occurrence and released a statement on Holm's controversial deal with Hi-Tech.

"Holly Holm is a great UFC champion and a role model for the sport of mixed martial arts. The UFC organization has not researched the company that is sponsoring Holm, and UFC does not condone any athlete that uses a substance on the World Anti-Doping Agency's Prohibited List."

The timing in which Holm secured this sponsorship is certainly questionable, seeing as how UFC is desperately trying to rid itself of performance-enhancing drug (PED) users. UFC recently shacked up with the United State Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which adheres to WADA guidelines, last June and has caught multiple high-profile names in the act since.

It should be noted that this does not incriminate Holm and that she has been tested by USADA multiple times since her arrival in UFC nearly a year ago, with all results coming back negative for PEDs.

Holm has been enjoying life as champion since her resounding upset of Rousey, appearing on talk shows and at NFL games. The Albuquerque native returned home last November to a hero's welcome and is now tasked with defending her belt for the first time against former title challenger Miesha Tate at the UFC 197 pay-per-view (PPV) on March 5, 2016.

For more UFC 197 news and notes click here.

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