Former Bellator middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko has been suspended from MMA competition after he failed a drug test following his most recent fight for the promotion on February 13th.
Shlemenko brutally knocked out Melvin Manhoef with a trademark spinning backfist at the event, but later tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone.
As such the result of the fight has been changed to a ‘no contest’ ruling and he’s been fined $2,500 and will likely face a lengthy suspension period.
“We are disappointed to hear about the results of Shlemenko’s drug test,” Bellator president Scott Coker said of the news. “As I’ve stated previously, performance-enhancing drugs have no place in this sport, and Bellator fully supports the commission in enforcing harsh penalties to deter fighters from taking banned substances.”
Just a year ago Shlemenko was enjoying the best run of his career, having successfully defended Bellator’s middleweight title three times while remaining undefeated for 13 fights. The 30 year-old’s career has unravelled dramatically in the past 12 months though.
It all started with an ill-fated one-off move up to light-heavyweight to face Tito Ortiz at Bellator 120. He lasted half a round before being submitted by the veteran star. A few months later he looked to rebound by heading back down to middleweight to defend his title against Brandon Halsey, only to find himself being submitted again, this time in just 35 seconds. Add in the new revelation about his failed drug test and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
Meanwhile, in other Bellator news, former light-heavyweight champion Emanuel Newton also failed a drugs test just a few weeks ago at Bellator 134, testing positive for marijuana following his title loss to Liam McGeary resulting in a three month suspension.
It’s not all doom and gloom for the promotion though as they’ve just signed the aforementioned McGeary to a new long-term deal after his title victory and there’s rumors his first title defense could come against Tito Ortiz later this year.