Report: PFL Featherweight Finalist Daniel Pineda Fails Drug Test

By Jay Pettry Nov 14, 2019

Editor's Note: The article has been updated at 7 p.m. ET on 11/14/19 to add a message from Daniel Pineda. It was updated again at 11:15 p.m. ET on 11/14/19 to add the new opponent for Lance Palmer.

An alleged failed drug test may have thrown the Professional Fighters League featherweight finals into a bit of disarray.

On Thursday, MMAJunkie reported that Daniel Pineda has failed a post-fight drug test from the Nevada State Athletic Commission following his two wins in October. Jason House, manager of Pineda, also stated that they were looking into what happened, and that the team was considering an appeal after more information comes in. The promotion has declined to comment on the situation.

Pineda has since posted on social media joking about the situation, while claiming that there were "no 'steroids' or drugs found in my system!" It has not yet been announced what substance led to this potential failed test.

Pineda (28-13) made his promotional debut in the featherweight playoffs, where he made it in to the tournament without ever appearing in the regular season. The Texas native is one of a small number of fighters in the sport that have competed under the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Bellator MMA, Legacy Fighting Alliance and now PFL banners. "The Pit" was originally scheduled to face Gadzhi Rabadanov at an event in July. After Rabadanov missed weight, Pineda earned the three-point walkover, which was enough to eventually place him as the No. 7 seed.

From there, Pineda sprang an improbable upset over the previously undefeated Movlid Khaybulaev to advance to the semifinals. In those semifinals, he faced and submitted Jeremy Kennedy in four minutes with a guillotine to earn a spot in the finals and a chance to win $1 million.

Taking his place against Lance Palmer at the 2019 Championships will be Alex Gilpin, according to Palmer's Instagram post on Thursday night. The two men have already fought twice in 2019, and Palmer emerged victorious on both occasions by decision. They will square off for the third time on Dec. 31 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
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