It hasn't been a good day for the UFC flyweight division.
Shortly after it was reported that top Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) flyweight contender John Dodson would be sidelined for up to a year following ACL surgery, the 125-pound division was dealt another crushing blow.
Damon Martin of FOX Sports is reporting that Ali Bagautinov tested positive for Recombinant Human Erythropoietin (EPO) -- a hormone that controls red blood cell production -- after his title fight against 125-pound champion Demetrious Johnson at UFC 174, which went down on June 14, 2014.
Ali lost to Johnson via unanimous decision after their five-round battle at The Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, went the distance (video highlights).
If EPO sounds familiar, that's because it's one of the substances that Chael Sonnen tested positive for after results of a second failed drug test for "The American Gangster" surfaced; with the other banned substance being human growth hormone (HGH).
As a result of Ali's hot test, he has been suspended for one year by the BC Athletic Commission:
"The focus of the BC Athletic Commission is to ensure fighter safety and maintain the integrity of the sport so athletes are competing on a level playing field. There were eight UFC 174 competitors tested on June 14, 2014, for the presence of banned substances, including the two flyweight title fighters and six random competitors. All competitors' test results complied with World Anti-Doping Agency Standards subscribed to by the BC athletic commissioner, as well as our anti-doping policies. In addition to the June 14 tests, Mr. Ali Bagautinov - one of the two flyweight title fighters - was tested out of competition on June 2, 2014. Results received by this office from the June 2 tests on Mr. Bagautinov were positive for erythropoietin, or EPO - a substance banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. These results were not available prior to the UFC 174 event due to lab processing times. Mr. Bagautinov lost his bid for the flyweight title to Demetrious Johnson. I have suspended Mr. Bagautinov's licence to compete in British Columbia for a period of one year."
According to a report from Ru Boxing (via Fan Sided), this isn't the first time "Puncher King" has tested positive for banned substances.
In November of 2012, Ali tested positive test for Methylhexaneamine, an energy-boosting dietary supplement -- which got Bagautinov banned by the International Sambo Federation (FIAS) and was forced to cough up any medal, awards, and financial support he received during the 2012 FIFA World Sambo.
Keep it tuned to MMAmania.com as more details emerge and to see just what kind of additional punishment UFC officials will hand Bagautinov.