Jennifer Gonzalez was supposed to make her debut against Josiane Nunes at UFC Vegas 49 next weekend, but that will no longer happen.
Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting reported on Thursday that Gonzalez has been released from the promotion just days before her first appearance. Though a specific reason was not given, the Chilean hinted at it being because of a heated run-in with a representative of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) at her gym recently.
In an interview with ESPN Chile, and translated by Bloody Elbow, Gonzalez gave her account of the incident that has forced her out of the fight with Nunes.
“I don’t even know what happened, the truth,” said Gonzalez. “What happened was that this fight was all rushed, all rushed. When they informed me of this fight, it meant that I had to do medical tests, blood tests, etc. Also, my passport was expired. Then I had to start doing the processing of my passport. I was out of the gym many times. USADA said that I needed to create a schedule telling them of my location at all times. I did not take that requirement at heart, but I made the schedule telling them that I was at the gym from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. But I was leaving the gym to solve some of the issues for this fight like physicals and that was it. Nothing more important than that.
“I was arriving home from an interview with Gonzalo Egas and I was surprised to see the people from USADA were outside of my residence, which is next to the gym,” continued Gonzalez. “In Chile, USADA has never approached me. I invited them in and told them to wait for me at the gym. What happened is my house is next to the gym, it’s two buildings with two different gates. I was entering my vehicle into the garage, and the guy from USADA tells me he can’t lose sight of me. I told him that if he came with me the dogs would catch him, I have two rottweilers. I requested two minutes to get the dogs in, park my truck and meet them at the gym. And when I told him that, I did not realize that he got upset. I opened the doors, let the dogs in, changed my clothes and went to the gym. And they were gone.
“They had a conflict with Pablo, my partner and coach. Because they wanted to enter from the side where the dogs were, where I left everything open for Pablo to get into the truck. When Pablo was entering the truck, they did not identify themselves as USADA. They thought that I was hiding from them. I don’t mind people going to the gym through the other gate, but why would they want to come through my house to go to the gym?”
When asked how she felt about the incident, ‘Jefa’ admitted that she was very upset over the turn of events. She held no ill-will toward the UFC, but rather the USADA representative for how he conducted himself.
Despite missing out on the opportunity of competing under the UFC banner as the first female Chilean fighter, the 35-year-old says she plans to focus on whatever comes next in her career.
“I was very upset and tired of it,” said Gonzalez. “I have never asked them for anything, I have never asked the sport for anything because I know they don’t give anything. I have earned everything alone and I have never had any problems. I was in another country, I fought. I was always clean. Now this happens, and it happens in Chile. From one Chilean to another Chilean. I explained to them why I was asking for them to wait, but they felt like they were above me.
“I spoke to them very kind, respectful. They seemed like they were the owners of my house. And that’s not right. It’s my house, it’s a private matter. I don’t know. Anyway, I’m tired. I trained since I was 13 years old. I have competed in many places, a great record, I’m at a good level and I know I can win that fight. I’m tired. Sometimes you fall, you get up, you fall and you get up. One more is nothing.”
Gonzalez has competed for Ultimate Warrior Challenge, Super Fight League and Combate Global and was on a seven-fight win streak before signing with the UFC. All 13 of her wins came via finish, with 10 by submission and 3 by knockout.