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MMA Betting Uncertainty After Failed Steroid Test

23/7/2009
The MMA community have been left scratching their heads over who will take on Fedor Emeilanenko this August after his opponent, Josh Barnett, was tested positive for Clostebol, an anabolic steroid.

The test result now means that the California State Athletic Commission will not license Barnett for the fight, which leaves event promoters Affliction Entertainment and M-1 Global looking for a new opponent for their headline bout on the “Trilogy” card on Aug. 1.

According to MMANews.com, the replacement for Barnett will be Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort, although the final deal is yet to be signed. The news comes as a surprise for MMA fans who were expecting Belfort’s next bout to be at middleweight against Jorge Santiago, rather than the heavyweight clash against Emeilanenko – the fighter many consider the best pound-for-pound proposition in the business.

The Emeilanenko-Barnett fight had been hugely anticipated, and it seems perplexing that Barnett should have jeopardised such a lucrative bout. His folly opens the door for Belfort, although according to the bookmakers he might be better off staying at middleweight. Sportsbook.com have set a provisional line at -850 for the man known as The Last Emperor, while Belfort is marked up at +550. Bodog also take a resounding line in favor of Emeilanenko, making him 1.12 to win straight up, Belfort an unappetizing 6.5.

While Belfort’s courage to step up to the plate just ten days before Affliction has to be commended, it seems unlikely that he’ll be able to solve the riddle of Emeilanenko which has seen him remain on top of the mixed martial arts scene for so long. Expect a brutally one-sided affair and nothing else as The Last Emperor cements his place as one of the all-time greats furthermore on Aug 1.
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