Photo by Tracy Lee via Combat Lifestyle
Josh Gross has the latest:
For the third time in three attempts, Barnett, who at 24 became the youngest champion in UFC history, postponed Monday an appeal hearing in front of the California State Athletic Commission to address the regulatory body's decision to deny his license after an alleged positive test in July for anabolic steroids.
While Barnett's legal team cited the need to gather additional information from the WADA facility at UCLA that conducted the test as justification for delays in August and October, the latest setback was blamed on the blizzard that slammed the Northeast over the weekend. Among the many victims of flight cancellations was Barnett's New York-based legal counsel, Michael J. DiMaggio, who was set to travel to the West Coast on Sunday for the hearing in downtown Los Angeles.
Barnett's appeal was rescheduled for Feb. 22, 2010. If he fails to fight by the the end of January, it will mark at least 12 months between bouts for the talented 31-year-old mixed martial artist.
I'm not trying to knock Josh by naming him the biggest loser of 2009. I don't think it's arguable that he had the worst year of any major MMA star in the sport. At the beginning of the year he was one of the top stars of one of the most aggressive rivals of the UFC. And he was headed for a fight with the man at the top of the mountain: Fedor Emelianenko.
Then the CSAC decided to surprise him with an unannounced drug test when he went to renew his license, normally a routine transaction. And it all went up in smoke.
No telling when Barnett will return to action or for what promotion.