Another new week, another new United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)-related casualty for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Zubaira Tukhugov -- who was scheduled to fight Tiago Trator at UFC Fight Night 102, which takes place inside Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y., on Dec. 9, 2016 -- has been flagged for a potential doping violation. As a result, the Russian Featherweight has been pulled from the show and the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion will search for a replacement to battle Trator when it returns to "The Empire State."
UFC issued the following formal statement:
"The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Zubaira Tukhugov of a potential Anti-Doping violation stemming from out-of-competition sample collections made on September 7, 2016 and October 29, 2016. USADA has provisionally suspended Tukhugov based on the potential anti-doping violation. The UFC is removing Tukhugov from his scheduled bout against Tiago Trator on December 9 in Albany, New York, and is in the process of attempting to locate a replacement. USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case. It is important to note that, under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full fair legal review process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. Consistent with all previous potential anti-doping violations, additional information or UFC statements will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward."
Tukhugov -- who will have the opportunity to appeal the decision and/or test results -- was looking to rebound from a split decision loss to Renato Moicano at UFC 198 this past May. Prior to the loss, Tukhugov was on a nine-fight MMA win streak (3-1 in UFC competition).
To check out the latest UFC Fight Night 102: "Lewis vs. Abdurakhimov" fight card and rumors click here.