LOS ANGELES — UFC featherweight contender and Hanford native Chad Mendes has been suspended for two years after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced the sanction Wednesday. USADA administers the UFC's anti-doping policy.
USADA says Mendes, who has a career mixed-martial arts record of 17-4, tested positive for a growth hormone-releasing hexapeptide in an out-of-competition test conducted May 17.
Mendes said on Twitter last month that he "didn't do my homework, and that was a big mistake."
On three occasions, Mendes are fought in the main event of UFC pay-per-views for the UFC’s featherweight title. He lost twice to current interim champion Jose Aldo and once to current champion Conor McGregor.
Mendes hasn’t fought since Dec. 11, 2015 when he lost via knockout to Frankie Edgar.
A former Hanford High wrestling standout, Mendes was a state placer before competing collegiately at Cal Poly. In his time with the Mustangs, Mendes earned All-American status, making to the NCAA national championship final his senior year.
Following college, Mendes turned pro in MMA, winning the first 11 fights of his career.
After fighting in various promotions, Mendes fought for World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) before it was bought out and merged into the UFC in 2010.
After winning his first two fights in the UFC, Mendes fought Aldo in the main event at UFC 142 in Jan. 2012 in Aldo’s native Brazil, losing on a knockout in the final seconds of the first round on a knee to the head.
Mendes then reeled off five straight wins, including four by knockout, to earn a rematch with Aldo.
Since then, Mendes has lost three of his past four fights. The last pay-per-view he was in the main event of was UFC 189 in July 2015 against McGregor.
Mendes is suspended until June 10, 2018, when he will be 33 years old.