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Popular women’s flyweight star Andrea Lee joining UFC roster

The UFC announced back in May it would be introducing a 125-pound women’s flyweight division and the promotion has begun to ensure the weight class is flush with talent.

Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) champion Andrea Lee, fresh off a title defence over Jamie Thorton this past weekend, signed with the UFC and was expected to make her debut against Kalindra Faria at UFC 216 in Las Vegas on Oct. 7.

Lee confirmed the bout on her Twitter account Thursday following an initial report from’s Ariel Helwani, however, on Friday, a subsequent article from the website reported that Lee won’t be making her debut at UFC 216 after all. Since the 28-year-old has previously failed a drug test–she tested positive for a banned diuretic in March 2016–she will not be able to compete for the promotion in 2017. Instead, she will have to enter the UFC’s United State’s Anti-Doping Agency testing pool for six months.

Section 5.7.4 of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy states:

“A new or returning Athlete who admits or has an established and verifiable history of the Use, Attempted Use or Possession of a substance or method that is classified as prohibited at all times on the Prohibited List shall not be permitted to compete in UFC Bouts until he/she has made him/herself available for Testing for a minimum period of six months before competing. At USADA’s discretion, such Athletes may also be required to provide a minimum of two negative Samples during the minimum six-month notice period before being cleared for competition. This provision shall not apply in situations in which (i) the Athlete’s Use of the Prohibited Substance or Method was pursuant to a valid TUE or (ii) USADA subsequently grants the Athlete a TUE for the substance or method in question.”

Faria (18-5-1) has won three straight, most recently competing in the Titan FC organization, and the UFC is hoping to keep her on the card. Canadian Sarah Kaufman, a three-fight UFC veteran and former Stirkeforce champion, has offered her services to step in on short notice.