Affliction Entertainment has confirmed that Josh Barnett will indeed be forced out of his highly anticipated title bout against WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko at “Affliction: Trilogy.” Former UFC light heavyweight champ Vitor Belfort has verbally committed to taking on the world’s best fighter on just 10 days’ notice.
“He tested positive for a banned substance,” Affliction VP Tom Atencio told MMA FanHouse Wednesday morning regarding Barnett’s predicament. “The Athletic Commission will not reinstate his license. Him and Fedor is off.”
Although specifics in regards to what agent or agents triggered the positive test results for Barnett are unknown, the point is that he failed his test.
When asked if Atencio intends for “Affliction: Trilogy” to go on as planned, the soft-spoken promoter said, “At this point, yes.”
Belfort was originally slated to face Jorge Santiago on the August 1st card. There is no word on what the organization has in mind for Santiago if Belfort does get promoted to the night’s final bout.
Late Tuesday night, Sherdog.com reported that the California State Athletic Commission would not license Barnett after the former UFC heavyweight champion tested positive on a pre-fight test he took a few weeks back.
When reached for comment, Barnett claimed to have heard nothing from the Commission and was marching forward as if he was going to make his appointment inside the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
“I took my test three weeks ago. I would have thought I would have heard something by now,” Barnett told Sherdog.
However, the former UFC heavyweight champion added that regardless of what he’s being accused of, he will fight this to the nth degree.
“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 emphatically stated.
It looks like it’s time for Barnett to start putting his star-studded defense team together because positive tests are tough to overturn, especially in the state of California.