PFL featherweight finalist Daniel Pineda has tested positive for a banned substance following his wins in the 2019 playoffs, jeopardizing his spot in this year’s finale.
The PFL’s featherweight finale, set to go down on New Year’s Eve in New York City, was just thrown a curve ball. The 145lb final was to feature Lance Palmer taking on Daniel Pineda. However per a report by MMA Fighting citing Pineda’s manager, the fighter, who previously competed for Bellator and the UFC, has failed a drug test carried out by the Nevada Athletic Commission. Word of the failed test was first revealed by MMA Junkie.
Pineda’s manager, Jason House, wrote in a prepared statement that “Right now we’re in the process of researching what could have led to a positive test.” House added that they do plan to appeal “once all the information is gathered.”
However, that leaves precious little time before the event is scheduled to go down. It may also leave the Professional Fighters League in search of a replacement to face Palmer in the 2019 finale.
Last year, Palmer (21-3) won all five of his PFL fights, from the regular season to the finale, capturing the featherweight belt and the million dollar prize in the process. He’s yet to lose in the 2019 season either, and is currently on a 10-fight win streak, with his last loss coming to Andre Harrison at WSOF 35.
Pineda (28-13) is on a six-fight win streak of his own. He entered the PFL this year, as a replacement fighter starting with the quarterfinal round of the featherweight tournament.