UFC 229 has lost the “Sugar Show” set to main event its FOX Sports 1 prelims.
Hot prospect “Suga” Sean O’Malley was set to fight Jose Quinonez leading into the UFC’s big superfight pay-per-view headlined by Conor McGregor vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov. Many felt it was the UFC’s way of positioning O’Malley in front of as many casual eyes as possible to see if he’s got some of that magical “It” factor. Alas, now O’Malley is out of the event over a USADA violation.
It was O’Malley himself who broke the news on why he was out, which you’re going to be seeing a lot more of now that USADA won’t publicly announce potential fighter violations until they’ve been adjudicated. Here’s what he wrote on Instagram:
Hey guys, Sugar Show here ... I want ot be the first to let you know about what’s going on. As many of you may have seen, the UFC announced this weekend that they are no longer announcing potential violations of the USADA program, because of the high number of unintentional use cases under the program, and are instead waiting until the end.
I find myself caught up in one of these exact cases right now. Even though under the new policy, my case would not be public right now, I feel it’s important to be upfront and honest with my fans about why I’m not fighting next weekend.
I’ve been working with Jeff Novitzky at UFC and I believe that we have already identified a dietary supplement that would have caused this. We’ve sent remaining samples from the bottle I took to the USADA lab and as well as a full sealed bottle. I’m told that the testing of these supplements can take as long as 30 days.
I will continue to update you all about the findings, but I fully expect the results will be what I already know, that I did nothing on purpose.
For everyone that follows me and was excited for my fight I’m truly sorry. It hurts a lot not being able to get out there and do what I love on the biggest stage.
I have no intention of cheating and am fully confident that the results of this case will show that. I love my fans and I hope the impact on my career is minimal and I’m back to fighting real soon.
UFC fighters that have managed to prove they unknowingly took contaminated supplements have sometimes managed to have their suspensions reduced to nine months. So let’s hope O’Malley manages to get a similar deal, and not the up to two years USADA can hit him with. But hey, there’s always snitching.