Zubaira Tukhugov, the Chechen-born Russian mixed martial artist currently fighting in the Featherweight division for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, has been removed from UFC Fight Night 102 event on December 9 following a potential doping violation.

In a statement, UFC said Tukhugov was informed by the United States Anti-Doping Agency of a potential violation stemming from out-of-competition samples collected on September 7 and October 29. The Russian mixed martial artist has been provisionally suspended by USADA, and UFC officials are presently in the process of trying to locate a replacement opponent to face Brazilian featherweight Tiago Trator.

The statement read USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC anti-doping policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case. The statement further reads it is important to note that, under the UFC anti-doping policy, there is a full fair legal review process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed and added consistent with all previous potential anti-doping violations, additional information or UFC statements will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.

Tukhugov (18-4 MMA, 3-1 UFC) saw a nine-fight winning streak end at UFC 198 in May where suffered a split-decision loss to Renato Carneiro. Trator (20-5-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) has not fought since a September 2015 win over Clay Collard at UFC 191.

A heavyweight showdown between Derrick Lewis and Shamil Abdurakhimov headlines UFC Fight Night 102 at Times Union Center.

Tukhugov made a name for himself fighting all over his home country of Russia after starting as a professional MMA competitor since 2010. Tukhugov has participated in promotions like Cage Warriors, ProFC, Fight Nights MMA (EFN) and others. In 2010, Zubaira Tukhugo made his professional debut and won Pancration Atrium Cup 2 eight man, one night tournament. He after a 10-3 mixed martial arts records was signed by the Russian promotion, Fight Nights, where he won all of his 3 fights, defeating Romano De Los Reyes, Harun Kina, and Vaso Bakocevic. Tukhugov did a fight for Cage Warriors during his time on Fight Nights and defeated Denys Pidnebesnyi at CWFC 58. Tukhugov signed a contract with UFC in December 2013 and was scheduled to make his promotional debut against Thiago Tavares on February, 15 at UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Mousasi. Tavares however was forced to pull out due to an undisclosed injury and was replaced by UFC newcomer Douglas Silva de Andrade. The fight was dominated by Tukhugov and he won via a unanimous decision win.

Tukhugov then faced Ernest Chavez on October 4, at UFC Fight Night: Nelson vs. Story and won the fight via technical knockout due to punches in the first round. The Chechen-born Russian mixed martial artist was then expected to face Thiago Tavares on June 6, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 68 but the pairing was scrapped after Tukhugov suffered a rib injury. Zubaira Tukhugov then faced Phillipe Nover on December 10, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 80 won the fight by split decision.

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