One of the most anticipated fights of the year scheduled for Affliction’s “Trilogy” event, is now in serious jeopardy of ever happening. According to a Sherdog report, the CSAC has failed Josh Barnett’s drug test. This leaves WAMMA heavyweight champ Fedor Emelianenko sans an opponent and the main event in tatters.
The news, if true, spells more of the same trouble for Affliction’s promotional efforts. Prior to an earlier event in the company’s short history, Emelianenko brother Aleksander was also denied clearance by a state athletic commission.
Potentially stepping in for the seemingly ousted Barnett could be Vitor Belfort. The Brazilian middleweight was originally slated to face the surging Jorge Santiago. This yet-to-be-determined shuffle would effectively cancel a main fight from the card, unless a last minute replacement is secured for Santiago.
With many predicting Affliction’s demise before 2010, this dust-up darkens the lingering cloud moving in over the young promotion’s collective head. Tom Atencio has shown a cool demeanor during previous times of late-breaking inconveniences, so perhaps fans (and the fighters) will still be presented a successful event.