The heavyweight main event between Fedor Emelianenko and Josh Barnett scheduled to take place Aug. 1 at Affliction 3 “Trilogy” in Anaheim, California has been cancelled.
Affliction VP Tom Atencio has confirmed to FanHouse that Barnett tested positive for a banned substance and will not be licensed to fight.
THE CARD WILL GO ON AND AFFLICTION WILL FIND A NEW OPPONENT FOR FEDOR.
Sherdog.com first reported Tuesday evening that Barnett would not be licensed by the California State Athletic Commission due to a positive test.
Barnett has already claimed innocence, telling Sherdog.com, “No matter what happens with this, I can assure you I will clear my name. This will not be something that I am defined by.”
Barnett's name has been tied to failed drug tests before, when he tested positive for an anabolic steroid following his title win over Randy Couture at UFC 36 in March 2002. Barnett became the youngest UFC heavyweight champion ever but never had the chance to defend his belt due to the positive test and a contract dispute.
Vitor Belfort, who is currently scheduled to face Jorge Santiago in a middleweight bout, is a possible replacement to move up to heavyweight to fight Fedor.
Both Affliction and the commission are expected to make separate statements later today.
IT’S TIME TO PLAY: "WHO WANTS TO FIGHT FEDOR ON A WEEK’S NOTICE!?"
(All right guys, just flip a coin for it. Loser fights Fedor. Winner gets an ice cream sandwich.)
Remember when the fun trend among MMA fighters was to declare their desire and willingness to fight Fedor Emelianenko, despite not being in the same organization or even weight class? Well, somebody better go call all those bastards up, because Fedor needs a replacement opponent in a hurry. With Josh Barnett getting the no-go from the California State Athletic Commission, Affliction is said to be looking at four possible replacements, which range from unlikely to damn near impossible to not that credible of a challenger even if they did agree to it.
But why stop with the merely implausible or ill-advised possibilities? Clearly, this is a total shit-show of a problem that requires a total shit-show of a solution. Allow us to examine the possibilities...
Right now the frontrunners to get their heads smashed in by Fedor are Bobby Lashley, Vitor Belfort, Brett Rogers, and Ricardo Arona.
Why none of those are good/realistic ideas: Lashley has already said he doesn’t really want the fight, hasn’t exactly been training much lately, and has so little MMA experience as to make it downright dangerous to put him in against Fedor. Belfort isn’t even close to the same weight class and wouldn't go up to fight Gegard Mousasi. Rogers turned down a chance to fight a much easier opponent on slightly more notice. And Arona, a light heavyweight, has been mostly MIA since the dissolution of Pride, and somehow we’ve just barely noticed.
So who else is left? Let’s run it down.
Why it could work: Strikeforce and Affliction are friendly enough, and Werdum just lost an opponent for the August 15 show. Why not toss him in there and let him make a little money as long as he doesn’t have anyone to fight?
Why it’s a bad idea: Strikeforce needs to protect the few decent heavyweight investments that they have. Overeem will eventually heal, and Rogers will eventually be ready to fight.
Why it could work: You know he wants the fight, and you know he’ll take it on a few hours notice as long as you’ll come pick him up from this one chick’s house. She lives by the train tracks and her name is Samantha or Sandra or something like that. She's cool, I guess.
Why it’s a bad idea: As good as “The Snowman” is, he’s never won the big fights against the heavyweights who matter, so it’s hard to make a case for him as a legit challenger to Fedor.
Why it could work: He’s a heavyweight, is already scheduled to fight on the same card, and is known for his willingness to do whatever you want for enough money. He also just beat “Baby Fedor,” so there’s that mediocre storyline.
Why it’s a bad idea: He could very well die in the ring against Fedor. Plus, as main event pay-per-view draws go, you can’t get much lower on the totem pole than Buentello.
Why it could work: Buentello’s scheduled opponent for Trilogy, he’s also the right size and presumably in fight shape. He’s a dangerous enough striker that you could make a case for him having a puncher/kicker’s chance in the fight.
Why it’s a bad idea: Assuming he could get through the fight without cheating, the guy is lost as soon as the fight hits the mat. His loss to Barnett showed that, and it’s pretty anti-climactic to go from Barnett to a guy Barnett beat easily.
Why it could work: He’s a heavyweight who at least went three rounds with Arlovski. He’s also on this card and probably realizes that looking decent in a loss to Fedor would help him more than a dominating win over Chase Gormley.
Why it’s a bad idea: After getting KO’d by the guy Fedor KO’d, it’s hard to sell people on the idea of this as a competitive main event. Not to mention, Affliction has him on the undercard at the moment. That tells you what they think of his name value right now.
Why it could work: Will (sometimes) fight anybody, anywhere. Already gave us one Fedor highlight, so why not try for another?
Why it’s a bad idea: He’s a light heavyweight these days and didn’t look too great in his last fight against Mike Whitehead. Do we really need to see him gas out in the first round and take a beating from Fedor?
Why it could work: He’s big, scary-looking, and will do absolutely anything for money.
Why it’s a bad idea: He’ll quit during the introductions, if he even makes it that far.
Why it could work: No reason, really.
Why it’s a bad idea: Dude, you know why.
Click to view image: 'fedor barnett'
Tags: MMA, Mixed Martial Arts, UFC, Fedor Emelianenko, Josh Barnett, Affliction
Location: Anaheim, California, United States (load item map)
Marked as: approved
Views: 8719 | Comments: 15 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 1 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
|Liveleak on Facebook|