Daniel Pineda will not get to compete for $1 million at the Professional Fighters League final on New Year’s Eve.
The Nevada Athletic Commission on Wednesday postponed Pineda’s disciplinary hearing until January, which means he won’t be eligible to face Lance Palmer in the featherweight championship on Dec. 31 at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York. As a result, alternate Alex Gilpin will replace Pineda in the bout.
Pineda failed a drug test in relation to his two PFL playoff wins in October. According to ESPN, Pineda had a high ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone in his system, and further testing revealed the presence of exogenous testosterone. Pineda has denied knowingly taking any banned substance.
Pineda was a surprise story in the PFL featherweight bracket, as he stopped Movid Khaybulaev via TKO in 29 seconds before submitted Jeremy Kennedy at the 4:00 mark of Round 1 on Oct. 17. If Pineda’s appeal is not successful, he is likely to have those victories overturned.
Meanwhile, the NAC suspended PFL heavyweight Alex Nicholson four years and fined him $15,000 for testing positive for three different steroids in his PFL playoff loss to Francimar Barroso on Oct. 31.
Nicholson tested positive for drostanolone, nandrolone and trenbolone, according to the commission. He also had an elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone (T/E) ratio. Nicholson did not appear at Wednesday’s hearing, which contributed to the severity of his sanction. Normally, a first-time offender would be subject to a maximum suspension of 24 months, but the NAC ruled that Nicholson’s case fell under the category of “aggravating circumstances.”