Last month, Robert Drysdale made his UFC debut and did exactly what pretty much every fan in the building expected him to do. Drysdale, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion who has trained UFC stars Forrest Griffin and Dan Hardy in the past, dominated Keith Berish and scored a submission win inside of three minutes at The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale. It was a jumpstart to a UFC career that seemed dead on arrival shortly after he signed the contract.

After an injury forced the ADCC champion out of his scheduled debut last August, Drysdale looked to get into the Octagon for the first time against Cody Donovan at UFC 167 late last year. However, an out of competition drug test that revealed an elevated T/E ratio of 19.4/1, which is far above the limit allowed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, forced the NSAC to deny Drysdale a license. Somehow, Drysdale was able to hold onto his roster spot even with the infraction on a blank UFC resume, and he was able to get into the Octagon about nine months later for his debut.

Drysdale earned his first UFC victory over Berish a little under a month ago. However, the biggest win of Drysdale’s MMA career has quickly turned into a likely no-contest that may end up costing Drysdale his job. A second failed test for an elevated T/E ratio (this time it was 12/1, still over twice the allowed amount) has earned Drysdale a meeting with the NSAC and a likely suspension to boot. On top of that, it’s highly likely that the fighter may find himself on the open market well before he’s even officially suspended.

Following his win over Berish, Drysdale granted an interview to MMA Junkie where he revealed that he “did not understand the process” involving testosterone-replacement therapy (TRT), which was legal at the time of the initial failed test but has since been banned by the majority of state athletic commissions, prior to his match-up with Donovan. Whether or not that was a viable excuse the first time, it’s not likely going to work now that the NSAC banned TRT earlier this year. Unless Drysdale has the holy grail of excuses, it’s unlikely that the NSAC is going to show him any mercy when it comes to his punishment.

The same is likely to go for the UFC, too. Drysdale is an extremely talented grappler and he could add some depth to a somewhat stale 205-pound division, but all signs point to Drysdale losing his UFC deal after his second positive test for elevated testosterone levels.

Following UFC President Dana White’s loud support of the NSAC after the commission banned TRT earlier this year, it should only be expected that anyone caught with high testosterone levels over the next year is going to have to face the wrath of the boss. White wants nothing more than for the UFC to become a sporting brand on the same level as the NFL and NBA. Although performance enhancers are still hot-button topics in those organizations, they don’t dominate the conversation in the same way they do when talking about the UFC. Considering White was willing to part with Chael Sonnen, a promotional goldmine and admitted favorite, after a pair of failed tests this summer, it’s pretty hard to believe that a fighter like Drysdale, known only to hardcore fans, has a chance at sticking around.

Drysdale now has more failed tests than he has fights inside the Octagon. If the UFc is going to make an example out of a fighter, Drysdale is the perfect fighter for the part. The sport is still reeling in the aftermath of the TRT ban, and the number of positive tests hasn’t exactly slowed down since the treatment was outlawed. In order to try to shut down performance-enhancing drug use in the sport, the UFC itself is going to need to make a stand and try to strike some fear into the hearts of fighters. Cutting Drysdale isn’t a bad message for the UFC to send.

About The Author

Vince Carey
Staff Writer

Vince Carey has been writing about the sport of mixed martial arts since 2010. Although he is just 21 years old, the Omaha-based writer is looking to provide readers with interesting content on all things related to MMA.