The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has notified the UFC that bantamweight Augusto “Tanquinho” Mendes has been flagged for an out-of-competition drug test. Mendes was scheduled to meet Merab Dvalishvili at UFC Fight Night 128. Due to the fight being just a month out, “Tanquinho” has been pulled from the event and the promotion is currently looking for a replacement for Dvalishvili.
The potential violation was provided earlier this month. USADA has not provided comment on what the potential substance may be.
Mendes came into the UFC undefeated but was given a tough test as a late replacement against Cody Garbrandt. He rebounded with a Fight of the Night and split decision win over Frankie Saenz but couldn’t keep up the momentum, suffering a decision loss to Aljimain Sterling in April of 2017. Dvalishvili would have been Mendes’ first fight back after a year long layoff.
Mendes finds himself in an odd and unfortunate circumstance. He’s in a talented and stacked division, not particularly young and was about to complete the last fight on his contract next month. Time off and a potential drug violation does not bode well for fight contract negotiations.
As with all USADA cases, Mendes will be given the opportunity to appeal the test. Mendes and his camp have yet to provide comment on the matter.