With a Little Over a Week Left, Sherdog Reports That the "Trilogy" Main Event May Not Happen
As an MMA company, I’ve long said that Affliction has given us some of the best non-UFC MMA events the post-PRIDE world has ever seen. From top to bottom, there’s not a single match on the upcoming “Affliction: Trilogy” event that doesn’t have me excited in one way or another. Unfortunately, the biggest fight of the night may not happen after all.
Sherdog.com reports that multiple sources have confirmed that a positive test result- what exactly was positive about it has yet to be revealed- has forced the California State Athletic Commission to deny licensure to former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett. “The Babyfaced Assassin” was scheduled to take on friend and current WAMMA Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko in a championship contest. Fedor/Barnett had been long in the making and with Fedor’s recent destructions of both Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski, fighs fans, including myself, were eagerly anticipating the match-up.
Barnett had this to say-
““I took my test three weeks ago. I would have thought I would have heard something by now. No matter what happens with this, I can assure you I will clear my name. This will not be something that I am defined by.”
Affliction is left scrambling for a suitable replacement, and two names have popped up so far- Vitor Belfort, who is in the middle of a career comeback as a middleweight, and former professional wrestler Bobby Lashley, who recently won the biggest fight in his admittedly short career when he easily dispatched Bob Sapp. So far, both men seem unlikely, although Belfort may end up getting the rub- although currently set to face Jorge Santiago in a middleweight bout at “Trilogy”, Belfort is a former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and has always been known for his punishing fists.
While a fight with Fedor would undoubtedly be a huge match for relative newcomer Bobby Lashley, Lashley seemed understandably hesitant, having this to say:
"I don't know if I would want it right now. 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.”
I like Bobby Lashley. He’s got a lot of potential, a firm grasp on where he wants to go and how he wants to evolve as a fighter, and he’s shown significant potential. With the right mindset (which, so far, he’s shown to have) and good training, combined with his wrestling ability and super-hulk physique, Bobby Lashley could end up being a very dangerous man a few years down the road. Now, for fans of Bobby Lashley, don’t take the following statement the wrong way.
Bobby Lashley, as of right now, would get murdered by Fedor Emelianenko. It wouldn’t even be a fight.
Vitor Belfort may pose a few interesting threats, especially since he’s in the middle of a big comeback, but the fact is that he’ll have to jump two weight classes in a little over a week. That’s not just hard- that’s bordering on “dangerous”.
Hopefully this situation can get worked out, somehow, someway, and the main event stays intact. Fedor/Barnett has been a long time coming- it would be a damn shame if fight fans once again see the match slip through the fingers of those in charge of making it happen.
Stay tuned to MMAFigs.com for the latest on this story as it unfolds.