Chad Mendes Receives 2-Year Suspension from UFC for Doping Violation

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 20, 2016

Chad Mendes before this fight against Conor McGregor at their interim featherweight title mixed martial arts bout at UFC 189 Saturday, July 11, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Associated Press

On Wednesday, the United States Anti-Doping Agency handed UFC featherweight star Chad Mendes a two-year suspension for using a prohibited substance.   

Per an official USADA statement (via MMA Fighting's Luke Thomas), Mendes tested positive for GHRP-6 in an out-of-competition drug test on May 17. Per ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto, GHRP-6 "signals glands to produce growth hormone [but] is not a growth hormone itself."

Mendes, whose suspension began June 10, is the third major UFC fighter to be dinged for a failed drug test in two weeks.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was pulled off the UFC 200 card three days before the event for failing a drug test, and the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended him pending a full hearing, per Damon Martin of Fox Sports. 

Brock Lesnar, who defeated Mark Hunt via unanimous decision at UFC 200, failed two USADA drug tests, including one on the night of the fight, per Okamoto

Okamoto reported that Lesnar and Jones were flagged for the same substance, clomiphene, which is an anti-estrogen blocker. 

While Jones and Lesnar await their punishment from the USADA, Mendes will have to wait 23 months before he can step back into the Octagon. The 31-year-old last fought in December 2015, when Frankie Edgar knocked him out in the first round. 

There's little upside for Mendes, aside from the fact he will be only 33 years old when he's eligible to return. He's been around the featherweight title picture for years, losing three championship fights, including two since October 2014.

Mendes' only losses have come against former UFC lightweight champion Edgar, former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo (twice) and current UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor. 

The featherweight division continues to grow since the UFC introduced it in 2010. Mendes has been one of the top dogs for the last six years, but losing two years in the prime of his career is a devastating blow for one of the best fighters in mixed martial arts. 

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