Former UFC champion Lyoto Machida has been serving an eighteen month suspension from MMA from USADA after admitting to taking a substance which was banned by USADA. Machida disclosed his usage of the substance prior to a fight with Dan Henderson just over a year ago, and was subsequently handed an eighteen month suspension.
With Machida’s suspension up on October 6th, just over five months away, ‘The Dragon’ has been hard at work preparing for his eventual return to the Octagon. This week, in a social media post, Machida teased fans with his return:
While Machida claimed ignorance in the case of his usage of a banned substance, USADA spokesman Ryan Madden released a statement to MMAFighting when Machida was handed his suspension, saying:
“While it may be a convenient sound bite to say, “well, I didn’t know” or “I wasn’t educated enough” the reality is that as an organization we can only provide athletes with the resources and the information to be successful. How seriously they take it, how engaged they choose to be in the process, and how diligent they choose to be in their actions is up to them. And if athletes are going to delegate out these educational responsibilities, they have to stay engaged.”
“So yeah, Lyoto Machida was given everything he needed from an education standpoint - as are all other athletes - to be successful in this program.”
So far no word yet on who Machida will be looking to fight in his return scrap, however given how much the UFC middleweight title picture has changed over the last 13 months, Machida could very well be returning to a different middleweight division in five months.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/2/2017.