UFC 211, which takes place at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on May 13th, gained one exciting match-up on Tuesday but lost another.
UFC officials confirmed that lightweights Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier have verbally agreed to meet at the event, but the heavyweight scrap between former champion Fabricio Werdum and Ben Rothwell is off.
That’s because Rothwell, who currently sits at number five in the UFC’s official rankings, has been provisionally suspended pending a USADA investigation.
“The UFC organization was formally notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Ben Rothwell of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection on February 6, 2017,” read a statement posted to the UFC’s official website.
“USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case. It is important to note that, under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full fair legal review process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed.
“Consistent with all previous potential anti-doping violations, additional information or UFC statements will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.”
The 35-year old Rothwell hasn’t fought since a decision loss to Junior dos Santos in April of last year. Prior to that setback, the Wisconsin native had won four in a row, two via KO/TKO and two via submission, beating the likes of Alistair Overeem, Matt Mitrione and Josh Barnett.
Rothwell was originally scheduled to face Werdum at UFC 203 last September but a knee injury ruled him out of the fight. Werdum went on to defeat Travis Browne at that event.
It remains to be seen if Werdum will stay on the already stacked card, but the matchmakers have certainly been given plenty of time to find a replacement for Rothwell.