Raphael Pessoa


Injury Suspension
Est. Return 2/9/2023
Slapped with two-year ban
May 3, 2021
Pessoa accpeted a two-year sanction for violating the UFC's Anti-Doping Policy for the second time, Aaron Bronsteter of TSN.ca reports.
Pessoa received a one-year sanction for his first offense starting on March 4, 2020. He again tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide as a result of out of competition urine samples in February. Pessoa's two-year ban began on February 9, 2021. He last was in the Octagon on July 25, 2020 when he will to Tanner Boser via TKO. It's unclear what Pessoa's future with the UFC holds.
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Hit with one-year drug ban
November 23, 2020
Pessoa was hit with a one-year suspension Monday for failing a drug test, MMAFighting.com reports.
Pessoa tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide all the way back on March 4. He blamed the result on a prescription medication. Pandemic-related delays meant the results from the test weren't back by the time of his most recent fight, a loss against Tanner Boser in July. Pessoa's suspension will date back to the original March test even though he's fought once since then, so he'll be eligible to fight again in March of next year.
Inconsistent ways continue
July 25, 2020
Pessoa lost to Tanner Boser via TKO (punches) at 2:36 of Round 2 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
Pessoa entered the UFC with plenty of momentum when he debuted just under a year ago, but he's essentially stalled out since arriving. The Brazilian has plenty of power and has generally been durable (other than Saturday) throughout the course of his professional career, but there are legitimate concerns that he is a one-dimensional brawler with questionable defensive ability. Pessoa has now been stopped in both of his UFC defeats, with a unanimous decision over Jeff Hughes sandwiched in between. He'll need a better performance his next time out.
Gets new opponent July 25
July 15, 2020
Pessoa will now take on Tanner Boser in a heavyweight matchup July 25 on Fight Island, Nolan King of MMAJunkie.com reports.
Pessoa was originally scheduled for a clash with Justin Tafa and was even a (-135) betting favorite, but Tafa was forced to withdraw from that matchup due to unspecified reasons. He'll now take on Boser instead, a fighter who is 2-1 in the UFC with his only loss coming to top prospect Ciryl Gane. It's a small sample size for both fighters, but it's been Boser with superior volume striking stats so far. Pessoa will enter with height and reach advantages, however.
Fight Island next up
June 11, 2020
Pessoa will take on Justin Tafa in a heavyweight matchup set for July 25 on Fight Island, Marcel Dorff of MMADNA reports.
Pessoa was originally scheduled to make his third appearance with the company April 25 in Nebraska, but that turned out to be one of several events canceled due to the global pandemic. Instead, he'll draw a fellow heavyweight coming off a victory in Tafa. Both men are 1-1 under the UFC banner, and Pessoa will bring three-inch height and four-inch reach advantages to the cage.
Facing Romanov in Lincoln
March 16, 2020
Pessoa's (10-1-0) next scheduled fight is set to come April 25 at UFC Lincoln, Alexander K. Lee of MMAFighting.com reports. He'll take on Alexander Romanov (11-0-0) in a heavyweight bout.
Pessoa had previously been scheduled to take on Tom Aspinall at UFC London on March 21 before the event was cancelled in light of the coronavirus pandemic. "Bebezao" will now look to carry over the momentum from last October's unanimous decision victory over Jeff Hughes as he heads to Lincoln.