Holobaugh suspended 9 months, win over Bessette changed to NC
At a hearing on Tuesday, the Nevada Athletic Commission unanimously voted to suspend featherweight Kurt Holobaugh for nine months for violating the prohibition on use of an IV to rehydrate. The featherweight as also fined $750, 15% of his $5,000 purse for beating Matt Bessette at Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series 1 on July 11, 2017. Further, his win was changed to a No Contest.
When the UFC selected USADA to independently conduct performance enhancing drug testing for the league, one of the first changes was a prohibition on the use of intravenous therapy outside of required medical use. It had commonly been used to rehydrate after weigh-ins, but it has also been used historically in multiple sports to mask PED drug use. Thus WADA prohibits any IV over 50 ml in a six-hour period.
Unbeknownst to Holobaugh, the Nevada Athletic Commission has a similar prohibition. And Holobaugh used an IV of 2,000 milliliters after weigh ins. The use was not part of a medical procedure, and he did not apply for or receive a therapeutic-use exemption.
Holobaugh appeared at the hearing via telephone and took full responsibility. The fighter was honest when speaking with a USADA official as part of the UFC contract process.
It is not known if Bessette will get another shot at DWCS, but in fairness, he should.