15 May - 
Ali Abdelaziz: Fabricio Werdum will enter USADA testing pool next week

Story updated on 2:01 p.m. ET on May 15, 2019 to reflect additional clarification on USADA policy regarding suspensions and retirement.

Despite being “sour” about a two-year suspension, former UFC heavyweight champ Fabricio Werdum intends to return to the octagon.

Werdum’s manager Ali Abdelaziz said Werdum will re-enter the testing pool administered by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and make a comeback.

“Fabricio is going to come back and be a top-five heavyweight in the world,” Ali Abdelaziz told MMA Junkie Radio. “He’s training. He’s doing everything right.”

Four months ago, Werdum (23-8-1 MMA, 11-5 UFC) appeared to be headed down a very different path. Abdelaziz said the ex-champ was “done” with the UFC and could fight in Russia. Werdum said he had two fights remaining on his deal, but expressed frustration with USADA – which he claimed asked him to snitch on other fighters – and sought a release from contract so he could compete elsewhere.

According to Abdelaziz, Werdum has accepted his suspension and will return when it expires in May 2020.

“I believe he did not cheat at all, but the system got us,” the rep said. “But it’s OK. He has one more year, and he’ll be back in the cage.”

It’s unclear Werdum’s current status with USADA. Per the anti-doping agency’s rules, a fighter under suspension is still subject to out-of-competition drug testing. However, that requirement can be bypassed if a fighter retires, which is official when the UFC formally notifies USADA. The suspension is then frozen, but will resume if a fighter comes out of retirement.

If Werdum did in fact retire after his suspension, he would be required to serve the remainder of his suspension before being eligible to compete. A USADA rep declined comment on Werdum’s status when contacted by MMA Junkie.

Werdum tested positive for the steroid trenbolone and its metabolite after an an out-of-competition urine test conducted on April 25, 2018. He claimed the failed test was the result of a tainted supplement. The test fail nevertheless scratched him from a fight with Aleksei Oleinik UFC Fight Night 136.

Werdum was most recently seen in the octagon in March 2018 at UFC Fight Night 127, when he was knocked out by ex-Bellator champ Alexander Volkov. The loss snapped a two-fight streak and left him at 3-2 in the UFC since the loss of his title to now-former champ Stipe Miocic.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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