Well, it feels good to get back to brass tacks, after covering an event where the tacks were gold, diamond, emerald, and alligator-leather encrusted. While everyone has been talking about Mayweather and McGregor, the UFC announced that heavyweight Francis Ngannou is officially out of its upcoming UFC 215 card at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Just in case you missed it, my colleague JK Junior dos Santos was notified by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (colloquially referred to as USADA) of a failed drug test in preparation for his heavyweight fight against Francis Ngannou at UFC 215 on September 9. Dos Santos tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide, which is a diuretic banned by USADA due to its potential use as a masking agent.
Ngannou, a five-fight UFC veteran who has fought notable opponents such as Andrei Arlovski and Curtis Blaydes, reacted accordingly on Twitter:
I'm very very angry!!!
Almost done with training camp and they just announced that my opponent is out for #ufc215
— Francis NGannou (@francis_ngannou) August 18, 2017
Ngannou later sent out a tweet containing a meme that blamed the USADA for stealing his opponent, as Dos Santos is a fighter who is known for not having any prior positive drug tests:
USADA stolen my opponent !!! pic.twitter.com/h5S27mphKQ
— Francis NGannou (@francis_ngannou) August 24, 2017
Also according to Ngannou’s official Twitter account, he reached out to Alistair Overeem to step in as a replacement to no avail, with “The Reem” citing a foot injury that has not completely healed yet. With Overeem out, many feared that the UFC would not be able to find a worthy replacement, fears that have now become reality. While he has been removed from the card, the possibility remains that Ngannou could fight Stipe Miocic in December at UFC 218 in December. Miocic currently does not have an opponent for the fight, however, speculation has pointed to the winner of the Fabricio Werdum-Derrick Lewis fight in October being next in-line for a title shot against Miocic.
Who do you think is Ngannou’s next opponent? Let us know what you think in the comments below.