If things had gone according to plan, Brazilian MMA legend Antonio Rogerio Nogueira would still be gearing up for a fight with Jared Cannonier at UFC on Fox 26 this December. Regrettably, the 41-year-old fighter was notified of a USADA violation, having tested positive for a banned diuretic.
After attempting to defend his innocence on social media, Nogueira is now assuring he’ll also pursue legal action, though he hasn”t specified if this action will be against USADA or another party.
“I’ll try to defend myself,” Nogueira told AG. Fight for FloCombat. “A diuretic substance has been identified in my test and I don’t use diuretics. I do a strict diet in advance [of my fights] to not have major problems with weight loss. I’m going to find a specialist lawyer to figure out what we’re going to do.”
“I believe in my innocence and I don’t want to think of the worst,” Nogueira added. “I’m sad to have the [next] fight canceled now. This situation is very difficult. Let’s wait for what is decided from now on.”
If USADA drops the hammer with the maximum possible sentence, Nogueira could be out for two years, meaning he won’t be able to compete again until he’s 43 years old. Given that it’s already been almost a year since his last fight, an absence of this scale is bound to sting for the Brazilian veteran.
When we last saw Nogueira in action, he was stopped by punches dealt by current Bellator champ Ryan Bader. In his next most recent fight, he stopped Patrick Cummins with punches of his own. This win, meanwhile, was preceded by defeats at the hands of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson.
How do you think Antonio Rogerio Nogueira’s brush with USADA will shake out? Join the conversation in the comments section!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/23/2017.