Mayra Bueno Silva saw the biggest win of her MMA career vanish in a decision she feels was unfair, but she remains confident that her next fight will still be for the UFC bantamweight championship.
Bueno Silva submitted former UFC champion Holly Holm with a ninja choke in July, however that win was overturned to a no-contest after news broke that she tested positive for ritalinic acid in a pre-fight drug test, a medicine taken for treatment of ADHD. Bueno Silva’s suspension for the failed drug test ends Nov. 29.
“I take that medication for a long time and USADA knows, the UFC knows, the commission knows,” Silva said on MMA Fighting’s Trocação Franca podcast, “but this time unfortunately nanograms of it showed up on my urine test. This is not a performance-enhancing substance and both USADA and the UFC know I’m innocent, but the commission still gave me a light suspension and fine, and overturned the win — which, I don’t understand why.”
Silva joked that “if this medication made me submit people, I’d have never lost,” and added that she has now been given a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for the medication by USADA, meaning she won’t have to worry about failing future drug tests for its use.
“I had filed for a TUE a long time ago but USADA understood that I hadn’t provided the necessary documents and asked for more, but I did not go through with it,” Silva said. “I went after the doctors last year to file it again to make sure I didn’t feel uncomfortable during fight week. I sent them the documents before knowing I had failed the drug test. Now I can use it wherever I want, whenever I want, because it’s not a performance-enhancing medication.”
Silva believes the UFC sees her as the rightful contender for the vacant title despite her failed test. She said the company stood by her side throughout the process with the Nevada Athletic Commission. Still, she’ll only know for sure once the UFC makes an announcement on who gets to fight for the belt that once belonged to Amanda Nunes.
“I’m confident I’ll be on the next title fight, but I can’t know what they’re planning,” Silva acknowledged. “I wouldn’t put [me against] Julianna Peña because she’s coming off a loss, unlike myself and other girls in this division. If I were the matchmaker, I wouldn’t put Julianna in. But thinking as a business, Julianna and I would sell a lot.”
The American Top Team bantamweight said she felt personally attacked by Peña’s comments once the news dropped of her doping case.
#CHEATara, living up to your nickname.
Back to being a curtain jerker of an Apex card you go. You fought two 41yr olds this year and you had to cheat in order to get it done. Can’t pass a #drugtest?
Keep my name out of your mouth ya dumb broad! pic.twitter.com/EMyfJu8xbo
— Julianna Peña (@VenezuelanVixen) August 22, 2023
“I won’t knock her out or even submit her, I’ll beat her up so badly,” said Silva, who added that she prefers to compete in Peña’s home turf to make it more embarrassing for the ex-champion. “She will learn that you can’t make fun of mental health. She mocked me and said I was being a cheater, so I won’t even finish her. I’ll beat her up very badly to show everybody I own this title, that I own this division. I want to humiliate her.”