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Jesse Taylor out of UFC Fight Night 121 due to potential USADA violation


A potential U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) violation has forced Jesse Taylor out of this fall’s UFC Fight Night 121 event.

Officials today announced Taylor had been notified of the potential violation, which resulted from an out-of-competition sample collected on Aug. 22. No other details were given.

From USADA:

“USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Taylor. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair legal process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.”

Taylor was slated to fight Belal Muhammad (12-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) at the event. A replacement opponent is being sought.

UFC Fight Night 121 takes place Nov. 19 (but airs in the U.S. on Nov. 18 due to the time difference) at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. It’s expected to air on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the full fight card and bout order haven’t been finalized.

Taylor had completed one of the more long-term comebacks in UFC history in July when he submitted Dhiego Lima in the second round to win Season 25 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Taylor was a finalist on Season 7 of the show, but a drunken meltdown caught on camera forced UFC President Dana White to remove him from the final against eventual winner Amir Sadollah, and C.B. Dollaway replaced him.

Taylor had one fight in the UFC in 2008, a loss to Dollaway, then was forced to ply his trade for many other promotions around the country and world, including Strikeforce, WSOF, Cage Warriors and DREAM. But the “redemption” season of “TUF” was his chance to get back, and he took advantage of it after going nine years between official UFC fights.

Following the “TUF 25” championship, he talked about the comeback.

“Maybe they’ll make a movie about it one day,” Taylor said at the time (watch it above). “It’s not about the money. Don’t get me wrong – it’s going to change my life and my kids’ life. But it wasn’t really about the money. It was about the story. About redemption. That’s what it was about. I just wanted to show my kids, to be a good role model.

“Like, ‘Hey, you mess up in life, but you fix it, and you keep going.’ A lot of people mess up in life. I think I relate with people in that sense. I’m a pretty regular guy. Nothing too special about me. I just keep going.”

The latest UFC Fight Night 121 card now includes:

  • Mark Hunt vs. Marcin Tybura
  • Joanne Calderwood vs. Bec Rawlings
  • Belal Muhammad vs. TBA
  • Jeremy Kennedy vs. Alex Volkanovski
  • Daniel Kelly vs. Elias Theodorou
  • Rashad Coulter vs. Tai Tuivasa
  • Ryan Benoit vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian
  • Alex Chambers vs. Nadia Kassem

For more on UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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