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UFC Nashville’s Jennifer Maia says positive test and USADA suspension were ‘hard to deal with’

Flyweight Jennifer Maia reflects on her positive test, suspension, and how she managed to prove her innocence.

The past months have been quite the rollercoaster for UFC women’s flyweight Jennifer Maia.

Not only did she drop a unanimous decision to Liz Carmouche in her UFC debut, but the former Invicta FC champion also tested positive for WADA-banned substances after the July 2018 bout.

The August 16 test exhibited traces of banned diuretics furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, clorothiazide and metabolites of thiazide known as ACB in Maia’s system at the time. However, the athlete managed to prove those were due to a supplement that didn’t list those substances on its label, which shortened her suspension to only six months, dating back to August 31, a suspension Jennifer points out was hard to handle.

“(Doping) is something I did not expect,” Maia told Combate. “Especially after a fight, there was no reason for me to take diuretics then, and that never happened to me before. I was always tested when I fought in Invicta. It was really hard to deal with the situation, but I was I sure I did nothing wrong, which is why I was able to prove it. It was hard to be away for all this time, being punished while innocent. I had lots of people around me who helped me wait for the right time to come back.”

Now that she’s cleared to fight again and is matched up against veteran of the sport Alexis Davis, Jennifer revealed to be eager to score a stoppage win, something she hasn’t been able to do since October 2015.

“She’s a well-rounded fighter, dangerous everywhere,” Maia said. “That’s why I had thorough training camp, I trained my striking, my grappling, my wrestling, so I could feel ready in all areas. I think that, because of her last fight, she’ll try to take me down, but I’m ready for anything. It has been a while since I scored a knockout or a submission, so it would be wonderful to get a finish. But I’m ready for everything, especially to win this fight.”

Jennifer Maia is expected to take on Alexis Davis at UFC Fight Night 148, in Nashville, Tennessee, on March 23. The card will be headlined by a welterweight bout between Stephen Thompson and Anthony Pettis.