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PFL announces championship alternates after Daniel Pineda books Dec. 18 appeal with NSAC

MMA: Bellator 182-Karakhanyan vs Pineda Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports

Things are a hot mess over at Professional Fighters League (PFL) as the promotion gears up for its 2019 World Championship, held on New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31, 2019) inside Madison Square Garden in New York City.

That’s because Daniel Pineda, who was expected to face Lance Palmer for featherweight bragging rights — and a $1 million prize — will have to convince Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) that his positive drug test was not the result of cheating.

Hey, it worked for this guy.

If not, he’s going to be sidelined until further notice, which means PFL will have to bring Alex Gilpin off the bench to replace him. Similarly, welterweight Chris Curtis has been tapped to replace previously-announced alternate Glaico Franca, who also has a Dec. 18 date with NSAC.

“The PFL believes all athletes deserve due process and will, within reason, provide the fighters who earned their way into the Finals every opportunity to compete on New Year’s Eve,” said PFL CEO Peter Murray. “The League, as always, will abide by the final ruling of the commission.

Sarah Kaufman and Chris Wade (lightweight) join Bozigit Ataev (light heavyweight) and Denis Goltsov (heavyweight) on the 2019 World Championship alternate list in case of fighter injury or illness.

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