Sangiao explains Sangcha-an’s failure to secure USADA clearance
MANILA, Philippines – With Filipino fighter Jenel Lausa’s inclusion in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s second trip to the Philippines on October 15, many wondered why compatriot Roldan Sangcha-an was unable to secure a clearance from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
While Lausa was granted one easily, Sangcha-an’s exclusion from UFC Fight Night Manila 2 sparked numerous rumors, including testing positive for a banned substance in a pre-fight drug screening.
Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao shot down all malicious speculations and explained in detail why Sangcha-an did not receive the green light from both UFC and USADA. (READ: Team Lakay coach saddened by Sangcha-an’s exclusion from UFC Manila 2)
Sangiao confided to Rappler that Sangcha-an will have to undergo a 4-month process to furnish a clearance from USADA as the 25-year-old Baguio City native was released from his contract last year.
Even though the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion did not publicly announce it, Sangcha-an got the pink slip after suffering a second-round submission loss in the hands of Guamanian stalwart Jon delos Reyes in May 2015. This is the Pinoy stalwart’s second-straight setback inside the Octagon.
“Roldan was released from his UFC contract after he lost in May of last year. Since it’s his second-straight loss, the UFC had the discretion to release him as stated in his contract. We got the notification that he was released after the fight,” Sangiao confirmed.
According to Sangiao, UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby personally reached out to him and expressed interest to book Sangcha-an for UFC Fight Night Manila 2 when he accompanied Mark Eddiva in his 3-round featherweight encounter against lanky Kiwi journeyman Daniel Hooker last March.
Although Sangcha-an has been reinstated in the UFC roster, Sangiao revealed that they were not given sufficient time to deal with USADA, which oversees the MMA organization’s anti-doping program.
“In March, Sean Shelby personally approached us when I was with Mark Eddiva in Australia. He was interested to book Roldan for the October event in Manila. However, we were only notified about it last month and Roldan has to go through a four-month process with USADA. There’s not enough time,” he said.
Sangcha-an was supposed to be paired with Chinese combatant Yao Zhikui, who is now slated to face Lausa on the undercard of UFC Fight Night Manila 2.
Sangiao explained that it was easier for Lausa to get a clearance from USADA because he is a new signee of the UFC, unlike Sangcha-an, who makes his return to the MMA company following his contract release and after being on the sidelines for over a year.
“We cannot compare Roldan’s situation with Jenel’s because Roldan has been with the UFC since 2014. He was briefly released by the UFC. Meanwhile, Jenel is a newcomer. Getting clearance from USADA is much easier if you’re a new signee,” he said.
“There is no truth to the rumors. That’s the real reason. We won’t make it in time for the October event,” Sangiao added.
Sangiao disclosed that Shelby assured him they would give Sangcha-an a spot in one of the promotion’s future fight cards.
“Sean Shelby assured us of a fight. I can confirm that Roldan is back in the UFC. Once we get cleared with USADA, Roldan will be back in action,” he said. – Rappler.com