UFC Shanghai In Jeopardy After Main Fighter Fails Drug Test
Not again Anderson
UFC's first fight in Mainland China risks being a massive flop after it was announced this morning that legendary fighter Anderson Silva has been suspended following a failed drug test.
Silva reportedly failed the out-of-competition test conducted on October 26th and has been provisionally suspended and pulled from the UFC Shanghai card which is scheduled to take place on November 25th at the Mercedez-Benz Arena.
Silva and Gastelum last month at a press conference in Shanghai
This is Silva's second failed drug test and a final confirmation of the results following the testing of Silva's B sample could end the 42-year-old Brazilian's fighting career for good.
Promotional material across Shanghai has heavily relied upon Silva's image, with the legendary fighter and his opponent Kevin Gastelum being flown all the way out here last month to hold a press conference to promote the fight.
While the UFC has confirmed they are looking for a replacement for Silva, it's unlikely they'll be able to bring in anyone with the same star power as the legendary Brazillian nicknamed "the spider".
In a statement released earlier today the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency confirmed Silva had been notified "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."
While Silva has yet to issue a statement, Gastelum has taken to Twitter to voice his disappointment and reassure fans he'll still be showing up in Shanghai for fight night.
Two of Gastleum's tweets following USADA's announcement
Also scheduled to fight on the card is Li Jingliang, a Chinese MMA fighter who'll be going up against Zak Ottow, an American fighting out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Stay tuned to SHEX for more UFC Shanghai news as we hear it.