In a followup to our story from earlier about the Fedor Emelianenko – Josh Barnett WAMMA Heavyweight Championship main event for Affliction: Trilogy possibly being scrapped due to Barnett allegedly testing positive for a banned substance from the California State Athletic Commission, Affliction VP Tom Atencio confirmed this morning that the bout is indeed off.
“Josh was denied his license, the renewal of his license, due to testing positive for a banned substance,” Atencio told MMAWeekly.com.
In our earlier report, we mentioned that Vitor Belfort or former WWE superstar Bobby Lashley may step in to face Fedor Emelianenko. Atencio was quick to note that nothing has been finalized yet.
“Right now, it’s rumors,” Atencio noted. “I’m working on something and I think anybody that knows me knows I’m not going to say anything until I have something finalized. At this point everything’s rumors. I am working towards finding somebody, but until I have the contracts signed I’m not saying anything.”
“It’s up to whomever steps up and whatever agreement we come to.”
Fedor would be an enormous step up in competition for Bobby Lashley (4-0), who made his professional MMA debut just seven months ago. Lashley last fought on June 27th, defeating Bob Sapp via submission at the Ultimate Chaos PPV.
“I don’t know if I would want it right now,” Lashley told Sherdog. “Since the last fight, I haven’t really been into training again. 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.”
The most likely candidate to face Emelianenko is Vitor Belfort (18-8), who was scheduled to face Jorge Santiago on the card in a middleweight bout. MMAJunkie.com is reporting that Belfort has made a verbal agreement to take the fight, and is willing to move up two weight classes for the bout.
An official announcement regarding the main event for Affliction: Trilogy should come today. Stay tuned to FightLine.com for all the latest developments on this story.