Former champ Anthony Pettis plans to sue UFC, USADA, says he cut hand on drug-test kit prior to Nate Diaz fight

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 17: Anthony Pettis throws a punch in the second round against Nate Diaz during their Welterweight Bout at UFC 241 at Honda Center on August 17, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
Anthony Pettis (right) is filing a lawsuit over a bizarre injury suffered before his loss to Nate Diaz (left). (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)

Anthony Pettis suffered a bizarre injury just hours before a loss to Nate Diaz in August.

The former UFC lightweight champion says he’s suing the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency as a result.

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Pettis told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani on Monday that USADA required a drug test prior to the Aug. 17 bout. He said that in the process of packaging the urine sample, he cut his hand on a jagged edge on the kit provided by the anti-doping agency and required medical attention before stepping into the Octagon.

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“I did the test,” Pettis said. “I’m closing the first bottle up. It’s like a twist cap. I’m twisting the cap. I put it inside of a plastic bag, and I see blood. I’m like ‘what the f---?’ There’s blood in this bag.

“I look at my hand. And I gashed my thumb on USADA’s drug test.”

Pettis said he then had a decision to make — either get stitches, get the cut glued shut or call off the fight.

“UFC guy comes in,” Pettis said. “He’s like ‘All right, you need stitches. We can do two things. We can stitch you. And then you’ll probably bleed in the fight. Or we can glue you shut. And it’ll hold for the fight.”

Pettis said that he ultimately decided to have the cut glued shut and go on with the fight despite his coach Duke Roufus advising him to call it off.

Pettis went on to lose a unanimous decision to Diaz, who controlled the fight throughout in the co-main event of UFC 241.

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Pettis then said he’s in the process of taking legal action.

“I couldn’t talk about it because I gave USADA a chance to make it right,” Pettis said. “Right now we’re going through the court. I’ve got to sue them.”

Pettis’ manager Abe Kawa later confirmed with ESPN that he has hired anti-doping attorney Howard Jacobs, who defended Jon Jones in a USADA anti-doping case, and plans to file a lawsuit next week.

“We'll be naming USADA, the UFC and the manufacturer of the bottle that Anthony cut himself on,” Kawa told ESPN.

USADA declined comment to ESPN.

Pettis is scheduled to fight Diego Ferreira on Saturday at UFC 246 in an undercard to the Conor McGregor-Donald Cerrone main event.

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