Affliction: Trilogy canceled as Affliction shuts down MMA promotion to return as UFC sponsor

Whew, it’s stunning how plans can suddenly change!

Left scrambling for an opponent for World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko after Josh Barnett failed a drug test, Affliction has announced that it is canceling its Aug. 1 Affliction: Trilogy pay-per-view.

Worse, Affliction, which while losing money has put two great pay-per-view cards built around Fedor, who is widely recognized as the world’s best MMA fighter, has decided to shut down its MMA promotion business. Instead, the company’s clothing division will once again become a sponsor of Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Talk about coming full circle.

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Fedor Emelianenko vs Vitor Belfort at Affliction: Trilogy after Josh Barnett fails drug test?

Well, that sucks for Affliction.

With the Affliction: Trilogy pay-per-view on Aug. 1 just around the corner, Josh Barnett, who is challenging World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko in the main event, has been removed from the card after he failed a drug test.

Here’s an excerpt from the Yahoo! Sports article.

Barnett said he wanted to keep quiet as he prepares an appeal, and had nothing negative to say about the testing procedure.

“It’s not a big conspiracy,” said Barnett, who had a previous positive banned substance test result on his record.

Atencio said the show will go on as scheduled, and that Emelianenko has agreed to face any potential opponent. Yahoo! Sports has been able to confirm the company has had talks over the past day with Brett Rogers, Vitor Belfort and Bobby Lashley.

MMAJunkie.com is reporting that Vitor has verbally committed to fighting Fedor, though negotiations are still ongoing.

Now, I’m a big fan of Vitor, even though The Phenom never really lived up to the huge expectations that resulted from his success as a young prodigy in the early days of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Still, as a middleweight, he’ll be a huge underdog against the heavyweight champ, apart of course from Fedor being widely considered the best mixed martial arts fighter in the world.

Let’s see if this match will push through, and if it does, I’ll be rooting for Vitor, against all odds.

UFC 100: Brock Lesnar vs Frank Mir results

Congratulations to Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, who destroyed UFC interim heavyweight champion Frank Mir in just two rounds to retain his title and become the undisputed champ at UFC 100.

Here’s an ESPN clip showing highlights of the Lesnar-Mir fight.

I know Brock’s post-fight antics will give people even more reason to hate him, but frankly, Mir was talking a lot of shit before the fight. In fact, lots of MMA fans slam Lesnar just because of his pro wrestling background as a former World Wrestling Entertainment champion. Never mind his outstanding amateur wrestling background as the NCAA Division I champion, his uncanny speed for a man that big, his punching power, and, most important, his burning need to win. Critics just love bringing up his WWE past in order to bring him down.

Of course, Brock seems to enjoy playing the role of villain, and it’s that ability to play a great heel (a pro wrestling term for someone who plays a villainous character) that he seems to have brought over from WWE. Some MMA fans may hate it, but that ability to trash talk and “cut a promo” is part of what makes him a colorful fighter and a pay-per-view draw. Besides, it’s not like other MMA fighters haven’t been trash talkers — the two Huntington Beach Bad Boys, Tank Abbott and Tito Ortiz, immediately come to mind. Heck, Mir was doing a lot of trash talking, before Brock shut him up inside the octagon.

Even UFC president Dana White claimed to be shocked by Brock’s post-fight antics. White is also saying that he hopes to bring in to the UFC Russian fighter Fedor Emelianenko to square off against Lesnar in what would certainly be the biggest MMA fight in history. Fedor, the World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts heavyweight champion of rival MMA organization Affliction and the last Pride Fighting Championships heavyweight champ (he remained an undefeated champ, but Japan-based Pride FC was bought out by the UFC), is considered the best fighter of all time by longtime MMA aficionados.

Meanwhile, UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre easily retained his title with a unanimous decision over Thiago Alves. Will we finally get that dream superfight between St-Pierre and UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva? I’ll be rooting for Silva, if that happens.

Check out UFC.com for the UFC 100 fight card and complete results.