Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva was expected to headline this month’s UFC Fight Night event in Shanghai opposite Kelvin Gastelum on November 25.
Thankfully for fight fans, former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping, who just lost his title to Georges St-Pierre 10 days ago at UFC 217, has stepped up to fight Gastelum on short-notice.
The UFC released the following statement on Silva’s removal shortly following the news that mixed martial arts legend had been flagged by USADA.
“The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Anderson Silva of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collected on October 26, 2017. As a result, Silva has been provisionally suspended by USADA. Due to the proximity of Silva’s upcoming scheduled bout at UFC Fight Night, Shanghai, China on November 25, 2017 against Kelvin Gastelum, Silva has been removed from the card and UFC is currently seeking a replacement.
USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Silva. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair legal process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.”
Earlier this evening, “The Spider” issued a statement on his removal from the UFC Shanghai fight card.
Thanks for all your support! A big kiss for everyone and see you soon. pic.twitter.com/nvoZTJkwct
— Anderson Silva (@SpiderAnderson) November 15, 2017
“Obviously I think everything is part of a process of evolution with each passing day I can learn more about who I am. I’m here to thank all my fans, especially my coaches and all the contributors for this long journey. I can’t express my feeling and how sad I am because we all invest love, passion and time in this camp. I don’t know exactly the plans of God for me. But anyway, I can only thank him and all of you. For the love and affection nothing is more gratifying at this moment than having you by my side. I will not give up, much less stop doing what I love. Not because of fame or money, it’s because I love to fight. So no matter what happens from now on, nothing changes. My plans are the same. Nothing changed. A big kiss for everyone and see you soon.” – Anderson Silva