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среда, 22 июля 2009 г.

Josh Barnett shocks the MMA world by testing positive for steroids

Just as the anticipation was mounting with less than two weeks to go before what possibly would have been one of the greatest fights in recent MMA history, Josh Barnett, the contender for the WAMMA belt has tested positive for anabolic steroids.
The California State Athletic Commission will not license Josh for the fight and he is likely to be banned for a year with his career to be close to over.

Josh Barnett at 24-5 has recently been considered the number two ranked heavyweight fighter in the world and perhaps the best opponent for Fedor Emelianenko at this time. The match was set for August 1st at the Honda Center in Anaheim for the third installment of Affliction, known as the Trilogy. This was clearly one of the most anticipated bouts this summer for MMA fans and the fight that gave Affliction, the troubled promotion, a chance to survive for another event. (yet perhaps the last)

This is enormously disappointing. Not only has Barnett been caught for using steroids in the past (after the fight with Randy Couture), he has also denied any wrong-doing. It is sad that Josh has effectively lost the chance to prove himself in the most important fight of his life, and in the worst possible way. No matter what Josh says and promises, the steroid story will always be part of his legacy. I feel most sorry for Josh Barnett fans who must be very angry with him.

Right now it is a question who can replace Josh Barnett at such short notice and make the fight, the headline event that so many people have paid to come in see or watch live. So far a number of candidates have been proposed. Lets take a look at the list:

1. Vitor Belfort - initially one of the names, really a middleweight fighter who would have a significant weight disadvantage at185lb (93kg). The Brazilian mixed martial artist is at 18-8, known as "the Phenom" has been preparing for his bout with Jorge Santiago in Affliction.

2. Bobby Lashley - this WWE champion would have been the bout that could potentially generate the dollars. However with only four fights under his belt, Lashley has declined to fight at this time.

3. Brett Rogers - having recently joined many of the MMA heavyweight rankings following his sensational KO of Andrei Arlovski, the former UFC heavyweight champion, this fighter is another possible candidate and perhaps the best fitting.

Rogers, at 10-0 has already got some recognition and having had his last bout a month ago, he may be in decent shape. If so than this could be the best choice.

4. Ricardo Arona - perhaps the only disputed win that Fedor had back in Rings. Arona, the well-known MMA fighter and ADCC champion has not fought since 2007 back in Pride. This raises serious questions and coupled with the fact that he has little recognition in the USA, this could not be the best choice.

Others include Fabricio Werdum (who won't submit Fedor and is coming of a loss), Tito Ortiz and I am sure there will be others like Jeff Monson. Tito Ortiz would be the guy that could surely make the money for Affliction but again we need to find out more about what his conditioning is like. For sure this could be any one of these guys' best chance to fight the MMA king.

More news to come! Keep reading.

2 комментария:

  1. Strikeforce Director of Communications has announced that neither Brett Rogers nor Fabricio Werdum will be fighting Fedor on August 1. Therefore both of these guys are ruled out.

    Tito Ortiz has told FoxFightGame.com that he will not fight Fedor at 10 days notice.

    The most likely candidate according to several sources is Vitor Belfort and I suspect will soon be finalized and announced.

    My personal feeling is that a fight with Jeff Monson would have been much more exciting but really any chance we get to see the great Fedor in action is a gift.

    It is just that Tom Atencio spoils Fedor's record. It is not Fedor's fault and I think they should try to explore a fight with Monson more. After all Monson said that he is apparently "destined to beat Fedor". Monson would probably do anything to make that fight.

    I don't know why they would rather have the greatest heavyweight ever fight a middleweight who is ranked #10 in the world, if that. You can't just say that "hey, Vitor Belfort is the fastest fighter Fedor has ever fought". Strange...

  2. Jeff Monson is such a great pick to fight Fedor that it seems strange that Affliction appears to have focused on Vitor Belfort.

    Monson is ready to fight for less money than all the other guys and he is ready to do it. He is sure that he can win and believes he will make more money in fights to come.

    At 31-8, Monson is a world-class ground technician. He is well-known for his north-south choke which he successfully applied on MMA stars including Sergei Kharitonov.

    I still don't believe he will be able to submit Fedor however. If Ricardo Arona, Renato Sobral and Nogueira could not do it, there is good reason to doubt his certainty.