On July 15th at UFC Vegas 77, Bueno Silva (10-2-1) defeated Holm (15-6) with a ninja choke in the second round of their main event contest. Prior to the bout, she tested positive for Ritalinic acid, a urinary metabolite of Concerta, which “Sheetara” has been taking to combat her ADHD for the better part of three years. While she was still allowed to fight in July, The NAC has now come to a decision surrounding her punishment
— Spinnin Backfist (@SpinninBackfist) July 16, 2023
Regardless of the reasons for use, this is a banned substance for active competitors in the UFC. In addition to the bout being overturned, Bueno Silva will also receive a suspension from the organization for 4.5 months, and will need to pay a fine of $11,250 (15% of her purse).
“I stopped taking the medication the Monday of fight week,” Bueno Silva said in August. “I’ve done this a lot of times, and then this time, I don’t know what happened. I stopped on the Monday. This medication, it’s not doping, but I can take this out of competition, and I always stop on the Monday. I don’t know what has happened.”
Bueno Silva currently finds herself ranked in the top-5 of the UFC’s women’s bantamweight division, and following her latest match was calling for a fight with the number one ranked Julianna Pena. How this failed drug test could affect her chances at getting a shot versus the number one contender is currently unknown, but in the eyes of the MMA community, her stock did not drop at all due to this debacle.
Additionally, Bueno Silva is adamant that the medication did not enhance her performance, and she believes the rules should be changed surrounding this banned substance.
“I take this medication because my mind is very hyperactive,” Bueno Silva told MMA Junkie in August. “If I don’t take this medication, I won’t hear. I won’t stop (moving). It’s not good for training or fighting. It’s nothing. It doesn’t improve my performance.”
With neither the UFC nor USADA seeking punishment for Bueno Silva’s failed drug test, her battle was specifically with the NAC. Because of this, many share her sentiment regarding the desire for the sanctioning bodies, drug testing agencies, and athletic commissions to get on the same page.
“I think they need (to) change this thing because it’s very important for the people that have ADHD,” Bueno Silva said. “I think this thing needs (to) change. If (I am an) example for this, OK, no problem, but I need this changed.”
In an effort to move forward, Bueno Silva has handled this like an absolute pro. Following the information surfacing on Tuesday, she took to Instagram to thank her fans, team, and family for their support during the process involved. She went on to thank the NAC for their understanding of the struggles she faces surrounding mental health.
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