Alex Nicholson Banished Four Years by NSAC, Daniel Pineda Case Carried Over to 2020

Alex Nicholson vs. Francimar Barroso PFL 9 2019
Alex Nicholson vs. Francimar Barroso Credit: PFL

A pair of PFL notables are in hot water with the NSAC, but it was Alex Nicholson having the book thrown at him Wednesday.

Daniel Pineda (28–13) is out of the PFL 2019 finals. The featherweight, who failed a drug test stemming from the league’s playoffs in October, had his case before the NSAC put over to January at a hearing in Nevada on Wednesday.

Per a report by MMA Fighting, Pineda will be replaced by Alex Gilpin, the highest seed in the post-season, in New York City at the end of the month.

Pineda had previously addressed the positive drug test on social media. “Damn..I guess them d*ck pills finally caught up to me… lol For the record no “steroids” or drugs were found in my system!”

However, MMA Fighting’s report notes that the failed drug test uncovered a T/E ratio (testosterone to epitestosterone) above the allowed threshold. With the case put over, Pineda’s provisional suspension was extended. Which means he cannot compete in New York City on New Year’s Eve, and loses out on a chance at a million dollars.

That’s nothing compared to fellow PFL fighter Alex Nicholson (14-9), however. The former UFC athlete, who has been a popular enough figure as a heavyweight in the Professional Fighters League, had the book thrown at him Wednesday. Except it never actually hit him, given he failed to appear for the hearing.

‘The Spartan’ failed a drug test for three banned steroids — drostanolone, nandrolone and trenbolone. That, coupled with his failure to appear resulted in the NSAC going the route of an enhanced sanction resulting in a four year suspension, and a fine of $15,000 (60% of his purse) plus fees.

Nicholson’s last bout came at PFL 9 2019, where he was defeated by Francimar Barroso in quarterfinal action. It looks like it may be the 29-year old’s last fight for a while.