Fedor vs. Barnett is Cancelled - Positive Steroid Test Revealed
Less than two weeks away from his fight for the World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts (WAMMA) title with Russian legend and title holder Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction: Trilogy, former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett has tested positive for a banned substance for the second time in his career according to SI.com.
Barnett, who was a big betting underdog going into the fight, says he will now attempt to clear his name and insists that he was innocent, but he still says that his previous positive test was an unfair result as well.
Meanwhile, Affliction is left scrambling for someone to step up and take the fight against Fedor on short notice, which is a daunting task to say the least. The Affliction: Trilogy card will take place on August 1st, 2009 and they are the company needs to find someone who can sell pay-per-views as well as a Barnett-Fedor fight would have done.
There are several intriguing opponents on the docket for a Fedor fight and although all would be decided underdogs, many of them would have to threaten Fedor with a flash knockout more so than Barnett would have.
The first and most likely opponent is Vitor Belfort, the former MMA star who has had a long road back to the top but now appears to be doing as well as he has in his long, storied career. Belfort boasts good hand speed and knockout power and would have a puncher’s chance to upset Fedor. The hang-up appears to be money as Belfort wants to be paid as much as other fighters who’ve tangled with Fedor have received.
The other top option is Brett Rogers, who destroyed Andrei Arlovski in their recent Strikeforce bout. Rogers is a mammoth heavyweight who showed incredible power in that fight and is currently 10-0, and money is also the issue with him.
Bobby Lashley, the former WWE star turned MMA fast-riser, has also had his name thrown around, but indications are that he’s not quite ready for such a huge challenge at this point in his young career.
Other than these three potential underdog challengers, there aren’t many other guys Affliction could sell as viable contenders to Fedor’s throne. Fabricio Werdum is an option but not too exciting following his brutal KO at the hands of Junior Dos Santos while Werdum was a huge favorite at BetUS. Another option is former UFC title contender, jiu-jitsu expert, and political/anarchy enthusiast Jeff Monson. Monson has looked good lately but his stand-up game is pretty weak compared with Fedor’s.
If Affliction can land Belfort, Rogers, or even Lashley, however, the Affliction card should maintain its status as a must-see.
And regardless of who they get, watching the best in MMA history operate in the ring is always worth the price of admission. Be sure to check back with the Locker Room in the coming days for info on Fedor’s next opponent as well as lines and previews for the rest of the fights on an exciting Affliction card.
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