Rousimar PalharesUFC middleweight Rousimar Palhares has always been one of the division’s most chiseled competitors, even earning the nickname “Toquinho” (i.e. “tree trunk”) for his compact, muscular frame. As such, the MMA world was far from shocked when news surfaced last week stating Palhares had failed a post-fight drug test stemming from the amount of testosterone found in his system.

Palhares was subsequently suspended for nine months as a result and will have to pass a drug test when the period expires before being booked for another bout in the UFC.

The 32-year old Brazilian recently addressed the situation and, surprising few, denied any wrongdoing while expressing absolute confusion about where the testosterone came from.

“I’ve always been extremely regimented with my diet and would not use anything that could harm my body or my performance inside the Octagon, and it wasn’t different this time,” said Palhares in a statement to MMAJunkie. “I never had the intention to cheat. I’ve got almost 30 fights in my career, most of them in the UFC. I have been subjected to several surprise tests, and there was never anything wrong. Besides, I knew that I would be tested after the fight in Australia because it is standard in the UFC. I have a clear conscience, but accepted the punishment. The rules are there for everyone and must be followed.”

“I consulted with my doctor, and he will go over all food supplements used in my preparation for the fight and the test results. I want to know exactly what happened that made the testosterone rate unusual in my body,” added Palhares on his intent to find out what went wrong.

Despite the testosterone use Palhares still came up short in the related rumble, suffering a knockout loss to Hector Lombard at UFC on FX 6. The stumble was his second straight.