Ex-UFC fighter Francisco Rivera booked to compete in first struggle since 2016 USADA suspension

Ex-UFC fighter Francisco Rivera is again.

Following the conclusion of a four-year USADA suspension and subsequent COVID-19-induced delays, Rivera (11-7) has booked his return struggle for XMMA. The occasion takes place Jan. 30 at Palm Seaside Conference Heart in Palm Seaside, Fla., and will stream live on the promotion’s website.

Rivera, 39, competed at bantamweight throughout his 10-fight UFC tenure. Nevertheless, he’ll transfer as much as 145 kilos for this struggle to tackle Bellator and LFA alum Ryan Lilley (10-6).

It’ll be 54 months in between fights for Rivera when he steps within the cage. His most up-to-date struggle came about at UFC 201 in July 2016, when he misplaced a unanimous determination to Erik Perez on the pay-per-view predominant card.

On July 23, 2016, Rivera offered an out-of-competition pattern to USADA that, when analyzed, tested positive for banned substance clenbuterol. Rivera was the second fighter to obtain a USADA suspension following the UFC’s implementation of the partnership program.

Rivera claimed he had traveled to Northern Mexico and ate meat contaminated with the substance – a difficulty that different UFC fighters had encountered. Nevertheless, he was unable to supply independently verifiable proof of his travels. Moreover, an arbitrator decided Rivera had falsified proof. In consequence, his commonplace two-year suspension was elevated to 4 years.

Eligible to struggle in July 2020, Rivera spoke to MMA Junkie this past April about his MMA comeback.

“I do know I can nonetheless placed on nice reveals,” Rivera informed MMA Junkie. “I’m undoubtedly top-of-the-line bantamweight fighters who ever fought within the UFC that, the way in which I struggle. I’m at all times in search of a knockout. I’m at all times in search of pleasure. I’m by no means one to placed on a boring struggle and I feel now can be the very best time to make a comeback to the UFC as a result of followers love the way in which I struggle – particularly now. I really feel prefer it’s extra leisure now.”

XMMA’s Jan. 30 occasion additionally options UFC veterans James Vick, Marcelo Golm and Kyle Bochniak among other MMA notables.

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