By Chris Howie
Tom Atencio confirmed earlier to MMA Fanhouse that Josh Barnett has been officially removed from the Affliction 3 card due to testing positive for a banned substance and now MMANews.com can comfirn that the likely replacement for Barnett to face Fedor will be Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort.
Although the bout is not set it stone just yet, MMANews.com spoke to a source within American Top Team that told us that Jorge Santiago has been contacted and told that Vitor will be facing Fedor and that a different opponent is being sought for the middleweight. As of this writing it is unknown who exactly would fill in for Belfort against Santiago.
The plan right now is for Vitor to stop losing weight to get to middleweight and he will now start trying to put some weight back on to face Emelianenko at heavyweight.
The source also confirmed that Bobby Lashley would absolutely not be fighting Fedor as was first reported on Sherdog.com. The initial plan was for Fedor to have a choice between Lashley and Belfort but Lashley felt he wouldn't be ready for such a fight on just 10 days notice.