He is regarded by many as the reason the Affliction organization collapsed – and now he says “he’s sorry.” Josh Barnett apologized to Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio for his role in the cancellation of Affliction: Trilogy, in which he was scheduled to face Fedor Emelianenko in the main event. The card was canceled when Barnett failed a pre-fight drug screen and couldn’t get licensed for the fight, a decision Barnett tried to appeal. However, the California State Athletic Commission revealed that the heavyweight’s B-sample had also come back positive for steroids.
“I’ve spoken with him since and he apologized and, like I said, I even told him it would have been nice to have known ahead of time so I could have at least prepared,” Atencio told MMA Weekly Radio. “We just did not have the time to re-market whoever was coming up. We could not have changed the commercials for all the pay-per-view providers. We could not have risked the fact that somebody ordered it thinking that Barnett vs. Fedor was the main event.”
In the aftermath of the cancellation, the organization has since halted all MMA promotional activities. As for Barnett, due to the failed drug test, he is expected to head overseas to fight with Sengoku in Japan. World Victory Road Director Takahiro Kokuho recently stated said that he’s looking to book Barnett on their Nov. 7 card. Kokuho also said that he guarantees that Barnett will adhere to their commission’s drug testing policies, which also happens to use the same anti-doping agency that is seen at the Olympics.
“If Josh Barnett gets caught in our doping control tests, we absolutely must deal with it,” Kokuho stated.
Barnett had competed in Sengoku 1 & 2, having defeated Hidehiko Yoshida and Jeff Monson, respectively. There is no word yet on who Barnett will face in November.