Tim Means was scheduled to fight Donald Cerrone Feb. 21 in Pittsburgh, but the UFC needs to find a replacement because of a possible Anti-Doping Policy violation.
According to UFC.com on Wednesday, “The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Tim Means of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection.”
The USADA is the independent administrator for the UFC’s anti-doping policy. The UFC.com report said “there is a full and fair review process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed.”
However, there is not enough time between Wednesday’s news and the Feb. 21 bout to conduct the full review, so UFC Fight Night 83 will need a new main event.
Damon Martin of Fox Sports noted the timing was particularly cruel for the 31-year-old fighter: “This is the first potential positive drug test for Means and it comes at the worst possible time as he was about to headline his first UFC card.”
Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com weighed in on the development on Twitter: “Re: USADA testing, important to note there is an appeals process. Worth remembering before outright labeling fighters cheaters/frauds etc.”
Helwani added: “Not alluding to Means or anyone else but it just seems weird everyone is guilty off the bat. Only fair to wait out the process.”
According to his UFC.com profile, Means is 25-7-1. He won five of his last six contests and knocked out John Howard in December in the second round in impressive fashion. Shaun Al-Shatti of MMAFighting.com said Means’ recent fights have seen him “emerge as a darkhorse contender in the UFC welterweight division.”
Alas, this is a difficult setback for Means, especially with so much momentum on his side heading into what would have been one of the most important fights of his professional career.