Bellator lightweight champion Usman Nurmagomedov has been suspended six months in California and fined $50,000 for testing positive for a prohibited substance, California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) executive officer Andy Foster confirmed Saturday with ESPN.
Nurmagomedov has been pulled from the Bellator Lightweight World Grand Prix because of the failed drug test. He will not be stripped of his title, according to Nurmagomedov’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz. Nurmagomedov’s tournament win over Brent Primus from Bellator 300 last month has been overturned to a no contest.
Abdelaziz said Nurmagomedov was using a prescription medication that caused the positive test, which sources confirmed with ESPN. Otherwise, the suspension length would have been longer. Abdelaziz said Nurmagomedov was unaware that the medication contained a prohibited substance in California, which uses the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code for its list of banned drugs.
Foster said Nurmagomedov will be enrolling with the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) as a condition of his settlement agreement with CSAC.
Nurmagomedov (17-0, 1 NC) is one of the best young fighters in the world. The Dagestan native, a cousin of all-time great and former UFC champion Khabib, was 6-0 in Bellator prior to the Primus fight. Nurmagomedov, 25, was supposed to fight in the $1 million grand prix final against the winner of a fight between Patricky “Pitbull” Freire and Alexander Shabliy. It’s unclear who will replace him in the tournament.