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Usman Nurmagomedov Banned for Six Months


Usman Nurmagomedov, the Bellator lightweight champion, has been handed a six-month ban for testing positive for a banned substance, and his victory over Brent Primus at Bellator 300 has been changed to a no-contest.


The news was first broken by Ariel Helwani, and confirmed by Andy Foster, the Executive Director of the California State Athletic Commission, to MMA Fighting. Foster also said Nurmagomedov has to pay a $50,000 fine for the violation.


Foster revealed that Nurmagomedov’s drug positive was due to a prescription drug, but did not disclose the name of the substance. He also did not comment on whether Nurmagomedov or his team had admitted the positive test or planned to appeal. Foster informed Helwani that Nurmagomedov is joining the Voluntary Anti-Doping Program, or VADA.


“Usman took medication for a sickness he had,” Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdelaziz said in a statement to MMA Fighting. “It’s not an anabolic steroid, EPO, HGH, etc. Nothing enhancing. He will fight Primus again and return to the tournament.”

Nurmagomedov met Primus in the main event of Bellator 300 last month, in the semifinals of the promotion’s $1 million lightweight grand prix. Nurmagomedov won all five rounds, earning unanimous 50-45 scores for a dominant display.


Bellator President Scott Coker did not respond to a request for comment on Nurmagomedov’s failure or the status of the tournament. Bellator MMA’s future is uncertain, with rumors of a possible sale to rival PFL. Paramount, Bellator’s parent company, recently announced it would close Showtime Sports by the end of the year.

Primus reacted to Nurmagomedov’s positive with a sarcastic remark.


“I just can’t believe a young undefeated fighter, coming from the camp he’s coming from would cheat and use a banned substance,” the Oregon native said

Before Bellator 300, Nurmagomedov, the younger brother of UFC veteran Umar Nurmagomedov and cousin of retired UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, had a perfect MMA record with 17 consecutive wins

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