Will We Ever See Bharat Kandare Come back to the UFC?
Indian MMA superstar Bharat Kandare was set for greatness but was banned. Can he make a comeback?
What Happened to Bharat Kandare?
They say you should hold onto the good moments whenever they come your way and that is just as true as ever with Bharat Kandare being on top of the world back in 2017. Back then Bharat had it all, with the Asian fighter being the first Indian fighter to sign with the UFC and even appeared on a fight card alongside superstar Michael Bisping.
Seen as one of the most promising active fighters in the sport at that moment in time, Bharat’s fall from grace has been absolutely incredible thanks to an injury-induced withdrawal and the subsequently failed USADA drugs test. A career that looked just as promising as anyone else's was snuffed out just a year after it properly began.
Who is Bharat Kandare?
Back in November 2017, the UFC announced that Bharat Kandare had signed up for the organization, thus becoming the first Indian fighter to do so. Fighting out of Maharashtra in India, Bharat joined the most prestigious and talented fighting roster in world sport, rubbing shoulders with the very best MMA fighters in the world and looking set for greatness.
Bharat was actually the second fighter of Indian origin to appear on the UFC but was the first Indian-born fighter to represent the Asian country. Entering the bantamweight division, Bharat quickly made a name for himself and developed a following of ultra-loyal fans who were absolutely desperate to see him succeed and make India proud.
Upon signing for the UFC Bharat told his fans, “I’m hoping that I can open the door for other young Indian athletes to embark on this journey, or at least the journey to compete in leading leagues around the world, whether it be UFC, NB, or the Premier League.” Bharat had the world at his feet with everything in place needed to succeed, so why did it not work out?
Why was Bharat Kandare banned?
Despite losing to Yadong Song at UFC Fight Night 122, Bharat was handed a very winnable fight at UFC 227 with many expecting him to finally stamp his authority on the sport and show the world why they should get aboard the hype train. Unfortunately, though, Bharat pulled out of the fight because he claimed to be injured, only to fail a USADA drugs test.
The ASADA drugs test saw Bharat banned for 2 years with the test results stating that he had ingested Exogenous Boldenone as well as Tamoxifen. Just like that, Bharat’s UFC career was in peril with the fighter only having a single fight under his belt (no pun intended) and the 2-year delay putting absolutely everything in doubt. The 2-year ban expired back in 2020.
The Indian fighter’s 2-year ban ran from November 2018 until November 2020 but Bharat is yet to make a second appearance. He has done little online to rehabilitate his image, while a website in India was appealing for financial support last year because Bharat was supposedly struggling financially as he prepared to make his long-awaited comeback.
Could Bharat Bandare make a comeback?
As of right now, Bharat Kandare is no longer a UFC athlete with the fighter confirming that he has since been released by the company, meaning that any potential comeback seems very unlikely. The fallout stems from the 2-year ban that Bharat received after failing a USADA drugs test for substances that Bharat claimed had been prescribed by a doctor.
Following this release, Bharat has stated that he will be focussing on the gym which he runs in his home area, which is called Bharat Kandare MMA Academy, while he claims that he will also be working to help set up events that will provide a platform for up and coming MMA fighters in India to succeed and make a name for themselves on the global stage.
Bharat has also been working with Pro Crunch Fight Night where he was a host for events on the 18th and 19th of December in 2021. He is currently away from the ring in a fighting capacity as he says that he is currently helping to take care of his mother, who is seemingly unwell. That statement didn't quite close the door but did put his future very much in doubt.