MMA fans excited for Robert Drysdale's highly anticipated UFC debut are going to have to wait a bit longer. Again.
The jiu-jitsu ace was slated to step into the Octagon for the first time against Cody Donovan at UFC 167 on Nov. 16 in Las Vegas, but he has been denied the necessary licensing to compete by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
The news originally broke on MMA Junkie, where it was reported Drysdale would not be receiving the proper licensing or medical clearance due to elevated T/E (testosterone to epitestosterone) levels. The story details Drysdale's test came in at 19.4-1 which is three times over the 6-1 ratio Nevada allows.
The report also goes on to say that Drysdale tested negative for a variety of other steroids. NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer confirmed the information with MMA Junkie and stated Drysdale has not yet been fined or suspended as of this time.
Should Drysdale be pulled from the card at UFC 167, it will mark the second time the Las Vegas-based fighter has been forced to withdraw from a bout since signing with the organization earlier this year. He was originally slated to face Ednaldo Oliveira at UFC 163 in August but was forced to pull out of the fight less than a month before the scheduled date with a staph infection.
Drysdale's arrival to the UFC has come with high expectations, as the former Abu Dhabi Submission Wrestling World Championship gold medalist has jumped out to a perfect 6-0 start in mixed martial arts. But after signing his contract to join the biggest promotion in the sport, Drysdale failed to make good on his first scheduled appearance, and the chances are likely he will also be unable to make his bout against Donovan at UFC 167.
The UFC has changed its stance on TRT in the past year, with President Dana White vowing to put extra pressure on anyone who seeks an exemption. With Drysdale's licensing issue due to elevated T/E levels coming under the microscope, it will be interesting to see how the organization handles the situation.
Duane Finley is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report.