Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, who fought for the
May, tested positive for an excessive level of testosterone after his Dec. 6 draw in Australia against Mark Hunt.
In addition to surrendering his $50,000 fight-of-the-night bonus following the bloody battle, Silva is suspended for nine months, the UFC said in a statement.
Silva (18-5-1) had been approved for the controversial testosterone replacement therapy
that some other UFC fighters receive.
Silva "had been in compliance with therapeutic guidelines on all pre-fight tests performed prior to the event," the UFC statement said. "The results of his test on the day of the event indicated a level of testosterone outside of allowable limit."
UFC President Dana White called Silva-Hunt the best heavyweight bout in UFC history after the pair exchanged knockdowns.
The 6-foot-4, 264-pound Silva said after the fight he injured his back a few weeks before fighting Hunt, but opted to keep quiet, adding, "I came here to fight and did my best."
In May, after beating previously testosterone-banned UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem, Silva suffered a first-round technical-knockout loss to UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez in a rematch of a May 2012 fight that Velasquez also dominated.
The UFC said Silva will be subjected to additional drug screening before he is allowed back in the organization. Hunt was given Silva's $50,000.
Hunt expressed disappointment to MMA Junkie on Tuesday that Silva had received a therapeutic use exemption for testosterone.
"I don't know how these guys are doing this," Hunt said. "I should get some of that … too."