UFC veterans among 4 that failed PFL MMA drug tests, scratched from 2023 season

UFC veterans Thiago Santos and Krzysztof Jotko are among four fighters that have failed a round of recent PFL MMA drug tests and have been officially bounced from the 2023 season.

The 2023 season of the PFL — like previous years — has quite a few UFC veterans, including Chris Wade, Marlon Moraes, and Shane Burgos. However, a couple of them will see their seasons end with the MMA promotion ending after just one fight.

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On Tuesday, MMA Fighting reported that one-time UFC title challenger Thiago Santos and fellow Octagon veteran Krzysztof Jotko had failed drug tests administered by their new employer, the PFL. Also, 2023 heavyweights Bruno Cappelozza and Rizvan Kuniev failed the same round of tests from the first two events in the latest season for the league.

What the fighters tested positive for, or how long they will be suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission has not yet been made public.

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Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Santos, lost in his PFL MMA debut to 2022 light heavyweight champion Rob Wilkinson. It was the 39-year-old’s third straight loss and sixth in his last seven fights. Jotko also came up short in his debut for the company, on the same card as Santos in April. Losing to Wil Fleury by split decision. It was his second straight defeat and the third in his last five.

Thiago Santos was scheduled to face Mohammad Fakhreddine on June 8, while Krzysztof Jotko was set to compete against Ty Flores on the same PFL 4 card in Atlanta, Georgia. The loss of both UFC veterans is a damaging blow to the light heavyweight roster for the rest of the 2023 PFL season.

It will be interesting to see how the league addresses the losses at both the 205-pound and heavyweight divisions for the rest of this season.

After earning his journalism degree in 2017, Jason Burgos served as a contributor to several sites, including MMA Sucka... More about Jason Burgos

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