Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum will be able to return to the sport sooner than expected.
UFC anti-doping partner USADA reduced Werdum's original two-year suspension by 10 months, the agency announced Thursday. The Brazilian will now be eligible to return to competition on April 1, 2020.
Werdum was granted the reduction due to the "substantial assistance" clause in the UFC anti-doping policy, according to USADA.
"Under the applicable rules, an athlete facing a period of ineligibility who provides information that leads to the discovery of another violation or which results in a criminal or disciplinary body discovering an offense, is eligible for a sanction reduction," a press release read.
Werdum tested positive for trenbolone and its metabolite epitrenbolone in an out-of-competition drug test on April 25, 2018.
His two-year suspension initially began on May 22, 2018, but it was paused for a period of time when he had retired and was not available for drug testing.
Werdum has not competed in the Octagon since a March 2018 loss to Alexander Volkov.
"Vai Cavalo" submitted Cain Velasquez to capture the UFC title in 2015. He never successfully defended his belt, dropping it 11 months later to Stipe Miocic by first-round knockout.
Since then, Werdum has gone 3-2 in the promotion.