PFL announces championship alternates as Daniel Pineda waits to appeal 'irregular' drug test

With featherweight finalist Daniel Pineda set to go before the Nevada Athletic Commission regarding his recent drug test mishap, the PFL on Wednesday announced a list of championship alternates.

They are as follows:

Featherweight: Alex Gilpin
Women’s lightweight: Sarah Kaufman
Lightweight: Chris Wade
Welterweight: Glaico Franca (second alternate is Chris Curtis)
Light heavyweight: Bozigit Ataev
Heavyweight: Denis Goltsov

Pineda was flagged last month by the NAC, leaving his eligibility for the $1 million title fight in jeopardy. After weeks without comment, the PFL deemed it “an irregular test result.” Pineda is scheduled to go before the NAC on Dec. 18, when it’s expected to be determined if he’ll face defending 145-pound champion Lance Palmer.

“The PFL believes all athletes deserve due process and will, within reason, provide the fighters who earned their way into the finals every opportunity to compete on New Year’s Eve,” PFL CEO Peter Murray said in a statement. “The league, as always, will abide by the final ruling of the commission.”

If Pineda is suspended, then Gilpin, who lost in the semifinals to Palmer, would get a rematch.

The PFL 2019 Championship takes place Dec. 31 at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York and airs on ESPN2.

PFL 2019 Championship lineup includes:

Kayla Harrison vs. Larissa Pacheco – women’s lightweight final
David Michaud vs. Ray Cooper III – welterweight final
Lance Palmer vs. Opponent TBA – featherweight final
Natan Schulte vs. Loik Radzhabov – lightweight final
Emiliano Sordi vs. Jordan Johnson – light heavyweight final
Jared Rosholt vs. Ali Isaev – heavyweight final

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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