Carlos Diego Ferreira is back, and he wants two things in 2018: Wins and justice.
Ferreira is slated to face Jared Gordon in the preliminary portion of Sunday’s UFC Austin card after being suspended for 17 months by USADA for testing positive for ostarine and 7-keto-DHEA in an out-of-competition drug test.
The Brazilian lightweight claimed the ostarine entered his body through a tainted supplement, and said that he didn’t know 7-keto-DHEA — an ingredient on the supplement label in question — was banned by the anti-doping agency.
During his time on the sidelines, Ferreira decided to sue the supplement company.
”This experience taught me not to trust some people,” Ferreira told MMA Fighting. “‘Take this supplement, there’s no problem.’ That’s what happened. It’s not like I took something knowing it was illegal, but someone lied to me, and I’m suing them. Two years of my career were thrown away.”
Ferreira said that his lawyer expects the process to end before the end of the year. In the meantime, all Ferreira thinks about is getting back inside the Octagon.
“It’s not a restart for me because I kept training, and also competing in jiu-jitsu,” said Ferreira, who defeated fellow UFC fighter Michael Chiesa in a grappling contest in December.
”[Chiesa] is really tough in jiu-jitsu, but I was able to take him down and win. My game has changed a lot, and that’s why I’m confident for this return. … Every fight is a fight, and defeating a tough guy like Michael Chiesa, a top-10 (lightweight) in the UFC, you have to feel good about it. I’m feeling 100 percent now. I can’t wait for this fight.”
Training specifically for a UFC fight is different than training martial arts and staying in shape during a doping suspension though, and Ferreira admits he felt some initial pressure when he started his camp for UFC Austin, but now is “hungry to go to war again.”
”That’s a good fight for me,” Ferreira said of Gordon. “He’s on a roll, going after what’s best for him, and I want what’s best for me. It’s a good matchup, and I want a bonus. He uses his boxing, has good takedowns, and I worked hard to counter that. He comes straight forward, he’s fearless, has a good cardio.”
Ferreira’s last fight took place in Jan. 2016 when he defeated Olivier Aubin-Mercier via decision at UFC on FOX 18. Gordon has won five in a row since that night, capped off by a dominant victory over Hacran Dias in Sao Paulo, Brazil last October.
”The best strategy is to stand a little bit, and I will always have my jiu-jitsu on the ground,” Ferreira said. “I saw that his last opponent got an armbar but couldn’t finish him. If I have his neck, I will submit him.”