It appears that Affliction Entertainment and M-1 Global are staring their worst case scenario dead in the eyes. Reports are surfacing that the heavyweight title bout between WAMMA champ Fedor Emelianenko and Josh Barnett may be off. Word is that Barnett failed a pre-fight test for his “Affliction: Trilogy” bout, however he denies any foul play.
Multiple sources have told Sherdog.com that the California State Athletic Commission will not license Barnett after the former UFC heavyweight champion tested positive on a screening he took a few weeks back.
Calls to the CSAC were not returned and details as to what triggered the failed test are unknown.
As of late Tuesday night, Barnett claims to have heard nothing from the Commission and he’s marching forward as if he’s going to make his August 1st 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.com.
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.
Sherdog is also reporting that former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort has verbally agreed to sub in to face the world’s top ranked heavyweight on just 11 days’ notice. Another outlet told Sherdog that Emelianenko will have the opportunity to choose between either Belfort or former WWE employee Bobby Lashley in the night’s main event.
However, when Lashley was contacted by the website, he played dumb and disinterested in taking a fight of this magnitude on such short notice.
“I don’t know if I would want it right now. Since the last fight, I haven’t really been into training again,” Lashley said. “That fight is next week. That would be something I would really have to take a look at. To just jump in there probably wouldn’t be the smartest thing for me right now. A lot of people would say that might be a money fight. They figure, ‘If we give him enough money, will he do it?’ That’s what people tend to look at. I don’t want to get into fighting for the money so much right now.”
Belfort is slated to take on American Top Team sensation Jorge Santiago in a middleweight bout at “Affliction: Trilogy.”
Calls to the Affliction Entertainment were not immediately returned, however Affliction had previously scheduled a conference call for tomorrow,Wednesday, at 3:30PM ET/12:30PM PT, and we’ll update you with any breaking news.
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