Angela Hill won’t have to go through the full four months of USADA drug testing to make her UFC return after all.
Hill, the current Invicta women’s strawweight champion, will take on Jessica Andrade in a big 115-pound fight at UFC Fight Night: Bermudez vs. Korean Zombie on Feb. 4 in Houston, the UFC announced Tuesday. Her return at this juncture to the UFC means the promotion will waive a rule in its anti-doping policy stating an athlete coming back to the UFC must be in the USADA drug-testing program for four months before competing.
In a statement, the UFC said Hill re-enrolled in the testing pool Dec. 13. The UFC gave four reasons for granting her an exemption: she already went through the USADA education process during her first run with the UFC; she got more education when she re-enrolled in the pool; it was not Hill’s choice to leave the USADA program — she was released; and the UFC and USADA are in the process of changing the “four-month rule.”
The new “four-month rule” language will state that only athletes who choose to leave the UFC and the drug-testing pool will have to have “an extended presence” in the pool before fighting again for the promotion.
Hill (6-2) was released from the UFC in late 2015 and then went on a tear in Invicta, winning four straight fights, including the women’s strawweight title in May. The Alliance MMA product is coming off a unanimous decision win over Kaline Medeiros in November. Hill, 30, was initially supposed to come back to the UFC at UFC 207, but the “four-month rule” stood in her way.
Andrade (15-5) has won two straight since moving down to strawweight from bantamweight. The Brazilian is coming off a first-round submission win over Joanne Calderwood at UFC 203 in September. Andrade, 25, has won six of her last eight fights in the UFC between both divisions.
UFC Fight Night 104 is headlined by a featherweight clash between the returning Chang Sung Jung and Dennis Bermudez. Also on the card, top Mexican prospect Alexa Grasso faces Felice Herrig.