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USADA suspension deals blow to UFC 229-themed Team McGregor vs Team Khabib rivalry

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Gdansk-Lobov vs Fili Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

The middle man who seemingly started it all, Artem Lobov — who sent his good friend and training partner, Conor McGregor, into a dolly-throwing tizzy — will return to the Octagon at UFC Fight Night 138, which is scheduled for Moncton Events Centre in New Brunswick, Canada, on Oct. 27, 2018.

“Russian Hammer” will lock horns with Khabib Nurmagomedov’s teammate, Zubayra Tukhugov, in a Featherweight showdown, according to

It was expected that the 145-pound match up between Lobov and Tukhugov would add a little extra spice to UFC 229, which features a main event between Nurmagomedov vs. McGregor, an insanely heated rivalry that has company president Dana White licking his chops. However, Tukhugov’s suspension from United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) will reportedly not be up in time for him to compete at the pay-per-view (PPV) event inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Oct. 6, 2018.

At least it’s not a visa issue.

Lobov is 2-4 in UFC (13-14 MMA) and is currently mired in a two-fight losing streak. He was supposed to compete at UFC 223, but then all hell broke loose. Prior to his USADA suspension, meanwhile, Tukhugov went 3-1 in UFC (18-4 MMA) with his last fight a split decision loss to Renato Miocano.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Fight Night 138: “Oezdemir vs. Smith” fight card and rumors click here.

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