Angela Hill’s UFC return on hold due to four-month returning fighter rule

Angela Hill’s potential return to the UFC will have to wait.

The Invicta FC women’s strawweight champion said she will not be able to compete at UFC 207 later this month because of a rule in the UFC’s anti-doping policy with USADA.

The provision requires a fighter coming back to the UFC to spend four months in the USADA drug-testing pool before competing. Hill was in the pool last year before she was released in October 2015.

An emotional Hill announced the situation in a video posted to her Twitter on Tuesday. MMA Fighting confirmed the information with USADA spokesperson Ryan Madden. Hill had an agreement in place to face Jessica Andrade at UFC 207 on Dec. 30 in Las Vegas.

“I really wanted to get one more fight in this year,” Hill said in the video, through tears. “I thought it was going to be a really good fight for me. I knew I could beat her. I’m really sorry. I just wanted to let all my fans know that I’m not ducking her, I’m not a punk. I was ready to jump in there when no one else wanted to and fight a really tough opponent and have a great fight and put on a show for the fans. But it’s not gonna happen this year.”

The four-month testing pool rule rule was famously waived for Brock Lesnar in advance of UFC 200 in July. Lesnar ended up testing positive for clomiphene, a banned substance, in both out- and in-competition tests, leaving egg on the face of the UFC and USADA. The UFC has the ability to waive the four-month rule, but has upheld it since the Lesnar mess.

Hill (6-2) said she plans on enrolling in the USADA testing pool Tuesday. She told MMA Fighting that she is not technically signed with the UFC at this moment and isn’t sure what is next.

Andrade was initially supposed to meet Maryna Moroz at UFC 207 and that fight has not officially been pulled off the card by UFC brass, but it appears that Moroz has withdrawn. Andrade’s coach Gilliard Parana told MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz that the UFC is seeking a new opponent for Andrade.

Hill, 30, was released by the UFC after falling to top strawweights Tecia Torres and Rose Namajunas in consecutive fights. The San Diego resident won four in a row under the Invicta banner this year, including a split decision win over Livia Renata Souza in May to claim the promotion’s 115-pound belt. Hill beat Kaline Medeiros by unanimous decision in her first title defense last month.

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