Liliya Shakirova won’t fight for a while.

On Monday, the UFC’s anti-doping partner USADA announced Shakirova (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) accepted a two-year sanction as a result of a positive test for meldonium.

The sample was collected during a Dec. 5, 2020 urine test, so her suspension will be retroactive to that date. She will be eligible to compete again Dec. 5, 2022.

According to USADA, meldonium is “a non-Specified Substance in the category of Hormone and Metabolic Modulators and it is prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and the UFC Prohibited List.”

Debuting UFC athletes are typically exempt from being flagged for violations should they declare the use of a prohibited substance upon their entry into the USADA testing pool. However, Shakirova never made such a declaration, per USADA.

Shakirova, 29, made her promotional debut at UFC 254 in October. As a short-notice replacement, Shakirova moved up to the flyweight weight class where she was defeated by top contender (and now next title challenger) Lauren Murphy via second-round submission. Shakirova had not competed, nor was scheduled to fight since.

Prior to her UFC signing, Uzbekistan’s Shakirova competed mostly in Russia and won three of her fights inside the distance for local promotions.


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