Fedor Emelianenko and Josh Barnett.
Fedor Emelianenko and his camp have been vocal with their concerns about possible steroid use by Fedor's opponents. Now Fedor has directly questioned how Alistair Overeem bulked up so much so quickly. Talking to MMAFighting:
"Alistair Overeem is a great fighter," Emelianenko told MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani via a translator. "He is very strong and is a very serious fighter. Lately he has won a K-1 tournament, as well. The only question I have [is] how he managed to gain 20 kilos of weight in such a short period of time. But frankly speaking I don't care, if he passes [the] drug tests successfully."
"I completely agree with Vadim (Finkelchtein, Fedor's manager) regarding the idea that all the fights have to be very honest, and all the sportsmen have to be clean and they have to work under equal conditions," said Emelianenko. "It's not a secret nowadays that a lot of sportsmen use drugs trying to increase their strength, their speed. I think the fight has to be honest."
Here's what Fedor's manager Vadim Finkelchtein had to say about drug testing in the Strikeforce HW tournament in January:
"The only thing I said and will say, Fedor - is clean. He trains in the mountains, to improve endurance, and from the eight fighters, they have already caught two for doping - Josh Barnett and Antonio Silva. And surely someone else uses it, while they insist that it is all the same, to have equal strength."
"We have never shied away from a particular battle, I just want for his fighter to be professional opponent, "not a chemist." Today doping can significantly add speed and endurance. We just want all parties to the Grand Prix and potential rivals to play by the rules."
"Terms of the tournament are determined, the grid is painted. Although, if Fedor will be in the semi-finals, I plan to insist on a thorough verification of the opponent on drugs. You know, I experienced a lot of problems when there was a struggle with Josh Barnett, and do not want this situation again. I then had a lot of money to lose on advertising and a big problem with television. I want this time for everyone to know and be aware of the facts that they will test it very seriously."
I must say I find it somewhat ironic that Fedor and his entourage are so concerned with Overeem when Fedor will be facing Antonio Silva -- who's already failed one drug test -- in his next fight. Also Josh Barnett will be in the opposite bracket and he already cost Fedor and M-1 Global a fortune when his failed 2009 drug test cancelled their Affliction fight.
Not to mention Fedor's teammate Kirill Sidelnikov who had to serve a one-year suspension after failing a 2009 drug test after his Affliction bout with Paul Buentello.